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.
dog with the saucer eyes . . . beard of the goat on the bridge . . . the troll below . . . plastic witch . . . Hansel . . . Gretel
Features at Zwolfkinder, all evoking children’s fairy tales: "The Tinder Box," the Billy Goats Gruff, Hansel and Gretel. hansel.jpg (44386 bytes)
A river, not a canal, that runs through Berlin.
who would eat an apple in the street
A phrase of German/Yiddish origin, suggesting a poor person of no breeding.
Archery is a sport often associated with Zen discipline in Japan, where it is known as kyūdō. Many archers practice kyūdō as a sport, with marksmanship being paramount. However, the goal most devotees of kyūdō seek is seisha seichu, "correct shooting is correct hitting". The archer seeks not to hit a target but (according to some sources) to become one with the arrow as it flies, as Fahringer advocates becoming "one with the Rocket." One of the earliest introductions of kyūdō in the west was by a German, Eugen Herrigel, who studied Zen and archery in Japan in the 1930s. His Zen in the Art of Archery (1953) remains a classic in its field. Wikipedia entry
In Mahayana Buddhism, a bodhisattva is a "Buddhist saint," one who has nearly attained nirvana but delays it in order to aid others. Wikipedia entry
good company at Herr Halliger’s Inn
Note the echo of the title of von Goll’s perverse film.
"I lost my heart in Heidelbug"
Although Weisenburger asserts that the song derives from Tony Bennet’s recording "I Left My Heart in San Francisco," there are more likely origins. The title suggests the lyrics to "I Left My Heart at the Stage Door Canteen" (see note at V134.27) or "Avalon" ("I found my love in Avalon") by Al Jolson and Vincent Rose. In addition, the lyric suggests Sigmund Romberg’s venerable operetta The Student Prince, about the heir to a throne who falls in love with a barmaid in the university town. The show also features the song "Gaudeamus Igitur" (V432.13).
- Igor Zabel offers a more a concrete reference: "I lost my heart in Heidelberg": a popular German song from the twenties: "Ich hab' mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren". You can find the text and translation on the net on several websites; one belongs to a musical union from (of all places) Kenosha." I have been unable to locate the Kenosha website so far, but the song was written for a musical of the same name by German composer Fred Raymond. Read the lyrics...
From the song "Ein lustger Musikante marschierte am Nil" by Emmanuel Geibel (1815-1884). German words and midi music
love something like the persistence of vision
The phrase "persistence of vision:" has long been misapplied to explanations of how the spectator perceives motion from the sequential flashing of still images on film. The term which usually refers to the positive afterimage retained by the retina of the eye has been rejected by psychologists and students of perception as imprecise and misleading. The illusion of motion is actually a much more complicated process, involving several elements of cognition. A very good synopsis of the problems with the term by Stephen Herbert is available here. The term "persistence of vision" is still in popular use, though, and fits Pynchon’s (and Pokler’s) needs well in this context.
Igor Zabel elaborates further on Weisenburger's note:
- "The song is a symbol of the university (as such) and its anthem (e.g., it is sometimes performed at ceremonial occasions). The mentioning here refers to the "feeling of graduation". Gaudeamus igitur is traditionally sung by the students of the final class of Gymnasium (i.e., university students to-be) as they celebrate their graduation."
A rank in the SS, which corresponds to the Lieutenant Colonel.
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