This page-by-page annotation is organized by sections, as delineated by the seven squares (sprockets) which separate each section. The page numbers for this page-by-page annotation are for the original Viking edition (760 pages). Editions by other publishers vary in pagination the newer Penguin editions are 776 pages; the Bantam edition is 886 pages.
Contributors: Please use a 760-page edition (either the original Viking edition with the orange cover or the Penguin USA edition with the blue cover and rocket diagram there are plenty on Ebay for around $10) or search the Google edition for the correct page number. Readers: To calculate the Bantam edition use this formula: Bantam page # x 1.165. Before p.50 it's about a page earlier; as you get later in the book, add a page.
Finally, profound thanks to Prof. Don Larsson for providing the foundation for this page-by-page annotation.
228.9 Miss Borgesius is still active on the program, and Mr. Duncan Sandys is having all his questions answered.
Putting them in the same sentence is a fine example of Pynchonesque intuition; in 2000 Duncan Sandys was revealed as the "headless man" involved in a decades-old sex scandal. In 1963 photos emerged of the Duchess of Argyll performing fellatio on him, while a third person, identified as Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., was masturbating and making Polaroid snaps. And yes, there is a von Braun connection.
228.33 und so weiter
German: and so forth
229.23 From overhead, from a German camera-angle
The German, or Dutch, or Batman angle is actually a tilted camera-angle. "From overhead" implies a German bomber's (or rocket's) view.
230.21-22 Volksgrenadier: setz V-2 ein!
German: Volksgrenadier deploy a V-2!
231.14 Daily Herald
British newspaper, published in London from 1912 to 1964; typically associated with worker's issues and the Labour Party
Savarin: the cofee.
Severin: two possible referents:
a. Severin von Kusiemski: a character in Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch.
b. Mark Severin(1906-1987): engraver of postage stamps and over 500 Ex-Libris bookplates many of which were erotic.
Richard von Krafft-Ebing (1840-1902), a German psychiatrist, wrote Psychopathia Sexualis (1886), describing a variety of sexual proclivities
Although Weisenburger cites Fu Manchu stories as a source for this item, it is more clearly being used simply to inflict pain in the ritual between Katje and the Brigadier. Malacca canes are thick, with a knob at one end. They are sometimes used in sado-masochistic settings such as the one here.
232.20 tattered tommy up on White Sheet Ridge
A key land formation at the the Battle of Messines, a prelude to the Third Battle of Passchendaele a month later. In April-May 1917, the Germans held the White Sheet and Pilkem Ridges squeezing Ypres in the middle. On June 7th 1917 at 3:10am the British attack began as 19 landmines simultaneously exploded; the British opened fire and two hours later the Germans were driven from the formation.
The Maxim gun was first self-powered machine gun.
232.22-23 Cléo de Mérode (1875-1966)
A French dancer, renowned for her glamour even more than for her dancing skills.
The specific time when a military operation is to begin.
232.29 Adam chair
A chair designed by brothers James and Robert Adam, 18th century architects, whose work was based on classic Greek and Roman styles
233.21 The Archies were chugging...
WWI slang for anti-aircraft guns
234.4 the Salient
The Ypres Salient
The capital of the Spanish province of Badajoz in the autonomous community of Extremadura, situated close to the Portuguese border. During the Spanish Civil War, Between 1,000 and 4,000 civilian and military supporters of the Second Spanish Republic, were killed by the National Army following the seizure of the town on August 14, 1936.
A military award, distinguishing military units as a whole
Beyond the Zero
Un Perm' au Casino Herman Goering
In the Zone
279-295, 295-314, 314-329, 329-336, 336-359, 359-371, 371-383, 383-390, 390-392, 392-397, 397-433, 433-447, 448-456, 457-468, 468-472, 473-482, 482-488, 488-491, 492-505, 505-518, 518-525, 525-532, 532-536, 537-548, 549-557, 557-563, 563-566, 567-577, 577-580, 580-591, 591-610, 610-616