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.
314.28-315.26 In the days when ... design to some compromise value.
This passage is written in the style of a zen koan, an anecdote about teachers and students of zen Buddhism meant to be contemplated by followers and used to test the progress of students.
315.08 Steve Edelman
"Edelman" may be from the German for "nobleman," but the name sounds real, as though it might be a reference to a person whom Pynchon actually knew. Coincidentally, there is a Minneapolis talk-show host (who makes a brief cameo appearance in the film Fargo) and TV producer named Steve Edelman as well as a studio musician based in Los Angeles (bass, not harmonica, unfortunately).
320.08 Der Bingle
Nickname for Bing Crosby, originally German, but later used by English-speaking fans as well
An empty song phrase often used by mimics of Bing Crosby’s crooning style.
320.14 the Cards or Browns
Two baseball teams from St. Louis, the Cardinals and the Browns. The Browns moved to Baltimore in 1954 and became the Orioles.
Not Castle Perilous, as Weisenburger has it, but the Perilous Seat at King Arthur’s Round Table (which is why the jokers are sneaking Whoopee Cushions on it. The Whoopee Cushion itself emits an embarrassing farting sound when sat on). Only the pure could sit there without being destroyed (hence the "peril"), and in most versions Galahad alone qualified for the place.
324.18-19 damn him to the knob of that nervous imperial staff
Apart from being an example of sexual/political double entendre, the exact phrase "Christ's imperial staff" occurs in a poem by George MacDonald (himself an unorthodox Calvinist), dedicated to General Gordon of Khartoum fame.
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