Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /var/www/vhosts/pynchonwiki.com/httpdocs/wiki/old-skins/skinGravitysRainbow/MonoBook.php on line 58
xml:lang="en" lang="en" dir="ltr"> W - Thomas Pynchon Wiki | Gravity's Rainbow

W

W.A.A.F.
151; UK: Women's Auxiliary Air Force

Wafna, Count
491; passenger aboard the Anubis

Wagner, Professor
452; "of Darmstadt predicted that at speeds above Mach 5, air would liquefy"

Wagner, Richard (1813-1883)

German composer and theorist whose operas and music had a revolutionary influence on the form and harmony of Western music. His major works include The Flying Dutchman (1843), Tannhäuser (1845), Lohengrin (1850), Tristan und Isolde (1865), Parsifal (1882), and his awesome tetralogy, The Ring of the Nibelung (1869-76) "Bürgerlichkeit played to Wagner, the brasses faint and mocking, the voices of the strings drifting in and out of phase" 324; "Wagnerian battlements" 393; Wagner played on Toiletship, 450

Wahmke, Dr. Kurt
403; German rocket scientist killed in 1934 in explosion in Kummersdorf; "First blood, first sacrifice."

Waite, Mr. A. E. (1857-1942)
738; Arthur Edward Waite was an occultist and co-creator of the Rider-Waite Tarot deck. Wikipedia entry

Christmas Eve, Highcross Market
waits

128; "join the waits"; Leicester's ancient tradition of Town Waits — official musicians who supported the Lord Mayor at civic events, entertained townspeople and feted visitors. The waits were originally guards or watchmen who walked round the town at night looking out for fires or other trouble. They rang bells to tell people the time, or called out '2 o'clock and all's well'. They also played music for the Lord Mayor's guests on big occasions, and entertained the general public. This became their main job. By 1900 the waits' instruments were a cornet, a euphonium, a tenor horn and a trombone. From then, the waits mostly played popular requests for a small fee, which was given to charity. By the 1940s, a request would cost about half a crown (12p). The Leicester Waits were disbanded around 1947. [1]

Walpurgisnacht
293; German: St. Walpurgia Night. The night before May 1, originally dedicated to St. Walpurgia, the 8th century English nun who founded religious houses in Germany. It is associated in German folklore with the witches' Sabbat on the Brocken, where the witches and sorcerers perform their black rites and reaffirm their subservience to the demon Master.

Waltz of the Future
296; "the strangely communal" in Raketen-Stadt

Wandervogel

99; (German: "bird of passage"); Thomas Moore: "organization, founded in 1901 as a boys' hiking and nature club, readily became, as it spread over the country, a plastic-deformable movement against all establishments of the fathers. Conscious Wandervogel politics varied across the spectrum, but all cells aggressively idealized nature, soil, soulfulness, and the spiritually exalted Bund ["brotherhood"] of youth." (p.208); 162; 670

War
the real business of, 105; lives for information, 105; "electronic components of resin and copper that the War, in its glutton, ever-nibbling intake, has not yet found a licked back into its darkness" 119; "seventh Christmas of the War" 126; what it really wants, 130-34; the guy who is WWII, 131; as world revolution, 165; what war really is, 177; reconfigures time & space, 257; "opened up things" 265: recklessness is "magnificent, but it's not war" 345; 349; "politics between wars demands symmetry" 350; 379; gradients of damage (poorest sectors first), 423; "the Real Text" 520; "all theatre" 521; "sides?" 520; "There's something still on, don't call it a 'war' if it makes you nervous, maybe the death rate's gone down a point or two [...] but Their enterprise goes on" 628; "the real War is always there" 645; See also V.E. Day

War Office
164; in Berlin

Washington, George
254; "old motherly femme de chambre"'s hair is done up like his

WASPs
281; Women Airforce Service Pilots--pioneering organizations of civilian female pilots employed to fly military aircraft under the direction of the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. The female pilots would end up numbering a little over thousand, each freeing a male pilot for combat service and duties.

Wassenaar "gingerbread" house - 1951
Wassenaar

95; northern district of The Hague, near Schußstelle 3

Wasserkuppe
454; according to Baedeker, this is a 3115-foot mountain near the ancient town of Fulda in northeastern Germany.

Watson and Rayner
In 1920 the American psychologists John B. Watson (1878-1958) and Rosalie Rayner employed classical conditioning techniques to demonstrate the development of an emotional response in a young boy ("infant Albert"). The presentation of a white rat was paired with the striking of a steel bar, which induced fear in the little boy. After only a few pairings, the white rat became capable of inducing fear responses similar to those produced by striking the bar, suggesting to psychologists that many human motives may result from the accidental pairing of events; conditioned "Infant Albert" into "a reflex horror of everything furry" 84, 86

waves
"the tidal evening" 130; "You are the Wave of the Future.", 258; "The wave of the future.", 580; "So, shine on, Baby Bulbs, you're the wave of the future", 648

Waxwing, Blodgett
246; specialist in phonying documents; his calling card has a cheSS knight and his address is on the Rue RoSSini in Zürich; escapee from the stockade Caserne Martier in Paris; meets Slothrop at Raoul's party, wearing a zoot suit; Zootsuit Zanies, 251; provides Slothrop the identity "Ian Scuffling, English War Correspondent" when he goes to Zürich, 256; 620

Wayne, Corporal
11; Pirate's "batman" who drives him out to a bomb hit

W.C.
82; water closet, British for toilet or bathroom

weapons
Mark III Stens, 20, 107, 639; Schwarzlose (machine gun), 106; Mendoza, 107, 637; Mexican Mauser, 107; haakbus (Dutch: "hookgun"), 108; snaphaan, 109, 111; .455 Webley cartridge, 118; Bofors, 121; "robot weapons" 144; Typhoon, 151; Flying Fortresses, 169; Archies (anti-aircraft guns), 233; Sherman tank 247; "dragon's teeth, fallen stukas, burned tanks" 281; .45, 287; Nagant, 293, 514, 704; Amatol charges, 312; .45 automatic, 312; Moisin, 339; tommygun, 369; Suomi submachine gun, 377, 513; Degtyarov, 377, 511; US Army .45, 495, 558; Tokarev, 503; Luger, 505, 530, 576; Molotov cocktail, 507, 511; carbines, 518; Schmeisser, 527; Colt, 560; Thompsons, 564, 582; M-1, 584; .38s, 586; Japanese Zeros, 672, 690, 692; Ohka device, 690; sodium bomb, 690; Mauser, 693; Hotchkiss, 697-98; See also Cosmic Bomb; King Tiger; Rocket; Schwarzgerät

WEAVING THE WEB
See also Labyrinth; Silvernail, Webley; Thesean brushings; Weber, Max; Webern, Anton

Weber, Max (d. 1920)

325; German sociologist and economist; the A4 "really did possess a Max Weber charisma" 464; See also Routinization/Rationalization of Charisma

Webern, Anton (1883-1945)

This Austrian composer valued the oriental qualities of brevity, objectivity and fine decoration, wishing to mirror the perfection of mountain flowers and crystal specimens. He studied under Arnold Schoenberg and adopted a strict 12-tone composition style in 1924, using the 12-note system in everything he wrote.

"This rainy morning, in the quiet, it seems that Gustav's German Dialectic has come to its end. He has just had the word, all the way from Vienna along some musicians' grapevine, that Anton Webern is dead. 'Shot in May, by the Americans. Senseless, accidental if you believe in accidents — some mess cook from North Carolina, some late draftee with a.45 he hardly knew how to use, too late for WW II, but not for Webern. The excuse for raiding the house was that Webern's brother was in the black market. Who isn't? Do you know what kind of myth that's going to make in a thousand years? The young barbarians coming in to murder the Last European, standing at the far end of what'd been going on since Bach, an expansion of music's polymorphous perversity till all notes were truly equal at last....Where was there to go after Webern?'" (440-41)

"nobody gonna pull an Anton Webern on him" 443; "'As to some musical ears, dissonance is really a higher form of consonance. You've heard about Anton Webern?'" 494; Wikipedia entry]

Wehrwirtschaftstab
German: "Economic Defense Staff"; "a section of the General Staff that maintained the OKW's liaison with industry" 630

Weichensteller
453; one of "the reentry people" at Peenemünde

Weill, Kurt (1900-1950)
A German, and in his later years American, composer active from the 1920s until his death. He was a leading composer for the stage and also wrote a number of pieces for the concert hall. His best known work was The Threepenny Opera which he wrote with Berthold Brecht in 1928. It contains Weill's most famous song, "Mack the Knife" ("Die Moritat von Mackie Messer").

Weimar Republic
The government of Germany from 1919 to 1933, so called because the assembly that adopted its constitution met at Weimar from Feb. 6 to Aug. 11, 1919. It was marked by political and social turmoil, but an intellectual flowering; 155; 285; 365; 580; Weimar street urchin" 651

Weissmann, Captain/Major/Lieutent [sic]

German: "white man"; aka Blicero, aka Dominus Blicero, aka Capt. Blicero; Dominus Blicero, 30; with Katje and Gottfried, 94-99, 101-04; finding Enzian, 99-101; "mirror-metaphysics" 101; "recently back from South-West Africa" 152; "took [Dominus Blicero] as his SS code name" 322; in love with his own death, 324; "part salesman, part scientist" 401; "balding, scholarly" 404; "brought [Ilse] from Stettin. . .played chess" 408; "Lieutent" 417; "gray eminence" 401; estrangement from Enzian, 427; 455; "his final madness" 485; creating his own space, moving "in mythical regions" 486; writing about Katje, 642; "last letters from Holland" 658; "Even if he's only dead" 661; "he's only dead" 668; writing from The Hague about Katje, 662; "the Zone's worst specter" 666; eye reflecting windmill, 670; 672; 721; deciding to sacrifice Gottfried, 724; "his myopic witch's eyes through the thick lenses" 724; his Tarot, 746-49; 757; Weissmann's Tarot; Lüneburg Heath

Wends
Group of Slavic tribes that by the 5th century AD had settled in the area between the Oder River (on the east) and the Elbe and Saale rivers (on the west), in what is now eastern Germany. During their periodic rebellions against both Slavic and German overlords, the Wendish peasants would also repudiate Christianity; "white-gloved" aboard the Anubis, 467

Wenk
455; Achtfaden's code name on the S-gerät project; 481; a character from Fritz Lang's 1922 film "Mabuse, der Spieler" — State-Attorney Wenk is Mabuse's dogged pursuer.

werewolf
Besides the obvious folk-mythological associations, the "Werewolves" was an underground army recruited and trained in 1945 for guerilla warfare against the Allies who were in the process of occupying Germany; "were-elves streaking in out of the forests at night" 125; "a terrible beastlike change coming over muzzle and lower jaw, black pupils growing to cover the entire eye space till whites are gone and there's only the red animal reflection" 196; "hock of werewolf, gammon of Beast" 295; 486; "Werewolf stencils of the dark man with the high shoulders and the Homburg hat" 624; "lycanthropophobia or fear of Werewolves" 640; See also Mythology

Wernher
Geli Tripping's owl, presumably named after Wernher von Braun; likes candy bars, 291; loves Tchitcherine, 292; attacks Slothrop, 294

Wessel, Horst (1907-1930)
The composer of Die Fahne Hoch ("Raise High the Flags," aka "Horst Wessel Lied") which was the Nazi "theme song." Interestingly, Herr Wessel, an SA (Sturmabteilung, aka Brownshirts) man, was killed in a street-fight with communists in 1930. Perhaps he traded a few blows with Mr. Sachsa who died that same year in a street-fight with Brownshirts. Coincidence? You decide; Die Fahne Hoch, 653; "I was a Storm Trooper [...] like Horst Wessel" 717

West, Mae (1893-1980)

An American actress, playwright, screenwriter and sex symbol. Known for her bawdy double entendres, West made a name for herself in Vaudeville and on the stage in New York before moving to Hollywood to become a comedienne, actress and writer in the motion picture industry. One of the more controversial movie stars of her day, West encountered many problems including censorship. When her cinematic career ended, she continued to perform on stage, in Las Vegas, in the United Kingdom, on radio and television, and recorded rock and roll albums; My Little Chickadee, 198

Whappo
69; "Norwegian mulatto lad" in Toilet Adventure and Crutchfield's "little pard"; 114

Whitehall
144; Britain's center for government in London. Eponymically named for Whitehall Palace which was located there but burned down in the late 17th century; 171; 201; 454; 635
The White House

The White House
White House, The,

AKA The Little White House, 381-82; Kaiserstrasse 2 in Neubabelsberg, Truman's residence during the Potsdam Conference in July 1945, where Slothrop dug up Bodine's stash. [Note: thirteen years after the "Fall of the Wall," Kaiserstrasse still goes by its East German name-change of Karl Marx Strasse!]

White Lotos Day
269; "the Blavatskian wing of Psi Section, who were off on a pilgrimage to 19 Avenue Road, St. John's Wood"; "White Lotus Day" — May 8 — is celebrated yearly by Theosophists as the day of death of Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky.

White Market
570; "to be protected"

White Sheet Ridge
232; "a tattered tommy up on"

White Visitation

34; former mental hospital located in the fictional town of Ick Regis on the coast of southern England; now part of SOE; location of PISCES; D-Wing still has "loonies"; "devoted to psychological warfare" 35; "they're all wild talents--clairvoyants and mad magicians" 40; 72-74; described, 82-83; D-Wing, 230; 533; 627

White Woman
Gottfried "dreams often these days of a very pale woman who wants him, who never speaks--but the absolute confidence in her eyes" 103; "the Evil Hour, when the white woman with the ring of keys comes out of her mountain" 374; waiting for Slothrop, "back behind the Spree" 439; "the great Kalahari painting of the" 658; "the pale Virgin was rising in the east" 694; See also death; Evil Hour

White Zombie
106; A 1932 American independent horror film directed and produced by brothers Victor Halperin and Edward Halperin, respectively. It is considered the first feature length zombie film and tells the story of a young woman's transformation into a zombie at the hands of an evil voodoo master. Béla Lugosi stars as the antagonist, Murder Legendre, with Madge Bellamy appearing as his victim. Other cast members included Robert W. Frazer, John Harron and Joseph Cawthorn.

Whitney, John Hay (1904-82)
American multimillionaire and sportsman who had a multifaceted career as a publisher, financier, philanthropist, and horse breeder. In 1942 he joined the Eighth U.S. Army Air Force as a captain in the Combat Intelligence Division and was captured by the Nazis in southern France. He escaped and in 1945 was awarded the Legion of Merit; "Harrimans and Whitneys gone, lawns growing to hay" 28

Whitsun
269; In England, White Sunday is the seventh Sunday after Easter; 628

Whittaker and Watson
55; co-authors of a mathematical treatise entitled Modern Analysis. An old copy is owned by Roger Mexico

Whittington, Dick (d. 1423)
A colorful London personality, Dick served three terms as lord mayor of London: 1397-99, 1406-07, and 1419-20. The GR passage refers to the popular legend that has Dick Whittington as a poor orphan worked in the kitchen of a rich London merchant. He ventures his only possession, a cat, as an item to be sold on one of his master's trading ships. Ill-treated by the cook, Dick then runs away, but just outside the city he hears the ringing of bells that seems to say "Turn again, Whittington, Lord mayor of great London." He returns to find that his cat has been sold for a great fortune to a Moorish ruler whose dominions are plagued with rats. Now wealthy, Whittington marries his master's daughter, succeeds to the business, and then becomes thrice lord mayor of London. ; "'I'm fucking Dick Whittington!' it occurs to [Mexico] zooming down Kings Road, 'I've come to London! I'm your Lord Mayor....'" 637

Wien bridge
Wilhelm Wien (1864-1928) was a German physicist who received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1911 for his displacement law concerning the radiation emitted by a perfectly efficient blackbody. Further investigations by Max Plank resulted in his quantum theory of radiation. The Wien bridge is a four-arm a.c. bridge, the variable frequency being determined by a resistance in an arm of the bridge, and, as Weisenburger points out, was used in the automatic steering of the rocket; "Sometimes you'd use a Wien bridge, tuned to a certain frequency A-t, whistling, heavy with omen, inside the electric corridors" 517

Wilcoxon, Henry
559; "'[children] rowin' old Henry Wilcoxon away into th' sunset to fight them Greeks or Persians or somebody'" 559

Wilheml, Richard
403; "One of these German mystics who Mondaugen grew up reading"

Wilhelmplatz
370; site of active blackmarketeering in Berlin, now with "Russian security all over the place"

Willkie, Wendell (1892-1944)
135; First a lawyer, then an industrialist, Willkie switched from Democrat to Republican and was narrowly beat by F.D. Roosevelt in the U.S. presidential election of 1940. Between 1941 and 1942 he travelled the world representing the FDR.

Wim
104; perhaps a Dutch underground comrade of Katje's

Wimpe, V-Mann
152; [V: Verbindungsmann - "contact man"]; IG-man present at seance; the V-mann, 166; association with Tchitcherine, 344; described, 344; an organic chemist/creator of psychotropic drugs (the "jinni of the West"), 345; "reassigned to the United States. . .after Hitler became Chancellor" 349; turns Greta on to Oneirine, 464; 566; was boyfriend of Minnie (who yelled "helicopter!"), 684; Tchitcherine's memory of, 701

Windhoek
352; capital of Südwest, where Enzian's birth was duly recorded by the Germans; [MAP]

windmill
"the chorus line at the Windmill" 22; "the old Windmill" 39; "the windmill known as 'The Angel'" 106, 536; "the horizon broken now and then by silhouettes of a windmill" 462; "a windmill creaks out in the countryside" 573; "Brown windmills turn at the horizon" 575; "exegeses of windmills" 620; "What mill's that, grinding there below?" 621; "Van der Groov's cosmic windmill" 624; "a muddy brown almost black eyeball reflecting a windmill" 670; "windmill silhouettes" 672; "heretic-chasing [...] It went on in fields of windmills" 738

wines/champagne
oude genever, 104; Lafitte Rothschild,116; Bernkastler Doktor, 116; "Wines of [...] the great '20s and '21s. Schloss Vollrads, Zeltinger, Piesporter" at Sachsa's séance, 163; Veuve Clicquot Brut, 212; "sweet Taittinger" 214; Nordhäuser Schattensaft ("shadow juice"), 290; "1911 Hochheimer" 652; shooting wine ("a wine rush is defying gravity") 743; Maitrinke (May drink), 743

Winterhilfe
373; German: "winter aid"; Government social program providing food for the impoverished

Winthrop, Governor
204; came over to America on the Arbella in 1630

WITCHES
See also Walpurgisnacht

Wittmaier harpsichord
533; disintegrating at the White Visitation

Wivern, General
210; of SHAEF Technical Staff, 237; 242; 592; 594

Wizard of Oz, The

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a children's novel from 1900 written by L. Frank Baum. The story chronicles the adventures of a girl named Dorothy in the Land of Oz. Thanks in part to the 1939 MGM movie, The Wizard of Oz, it is one of the best-known stories in American popular culture and has been widely translated. Its initial success, and the success of the popular 1902 Broadway musical Baum adapted from his story, led to Baum writing thirteen more Oz books.

Munchkin voice, 63; "obsessive as Munchkins" 270; "Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas any more. . . ." 279; "Amy Sprue was not, like young skipping Dorothy's antagonist, a mean witch" 329; Slothrop and Schnorp taking off in scarlet and yellow balloon, 332-33; "'Follow the yellow-brick road,' hums Albert Krypton, on pitch, 'follow the yellow brick road,' what's this, is he actually, yes he's skipping. . . ." 597

WLB
682; War Labor Board

Wobb and Whoaton
702; authors of "'Mantic Archetype Distribution Among Middle-Class University Students,'"

Wobbly
571; 355; Wobbly is slang for a member of the Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.), a former international labor organization favoring socialism and the abolition of the wage system; "German Wobbly traditions, they didn't go along with Hitler though all the other unions were falling into line"

Wolf, Hugo (1860-1903)
An Austrian composer of Slovene origin, particularly noted for his art songs, or Lieder; played at Zwölfkinder, 419; played, along with Wagner, on Toiletship 450

Wolfgang
496; G.M.B. Haftung's somewhat unstable prize chimp doing a fair Hitler imitation; going at it with Frau Gnahb in the pilot house, 496; drinking vodka, 503

Womack, Flash
584; a pinball wizard, one of "the great thumbs of Koekuk and Puyallup, Oyster Bay, Inglewood"

Wormwood Scrubs
33; the Scrubs--Wormwood Scrubs Prison, in London, was built by convicts in 1874; Slothrop wears Wormwood Scrubs School Tie to Casino dinner, 190

Wounded Knee
hamlet and creek on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in southwestern South Dakota, in the U.S., which was the site of two conflicts between North American Indians and representatives of the U.S. government. On Feb. 27, 1973, some 200 members of the American Indian Movement (AIM), led by Dennis Banks and Russell Means, took the reservation hamlet of Wounded Knee by force, declared it the "Independent Oglala Sioux Nation," and vowed to stay until the U.S. government met AIM demands for a change in tribal leaders, a review of all Indian treaties, and a U.S. Senate investigation of treatment of Indians in general. Two Indians and one federal agent were killed in the ensuing battle in which the feds prevailed; "the guns that raked through the unarmed Indians at" 697

WRAC
251; Women's Royal Army Corp

Wrens
23; Women's Royal Naval Service - British civilian support group of war effort; 121; Wrens?

writing
description of St. Veronica's, 46; "swimming up from sleep" 119; "an informer whose guilt will one day sicken into throat cancer" 150; "not produce. . .systems" 159; "assassination" 164; bugs in the manger, 173-74; Westward expansion: penetrate and foul virgin sunsets, 214; "no difference between behavior of a god and the operations of pure chance" 323; Rocket, 324; "what heads and tails went jingling inside the dark pockets of that indeterminacy?"-- 344; Will of God Theory, 362; "smiles breaking like kind dawns" 378; "This is how they meet" (p.365) until they finally meet at p.393; Trudi up Slothrop's nose, 439; "How I Came to Love the People" 547; dead fly, 632; tropical hallucination, 634-35; hmmm, 733

Wuotan

72; Wuotan is the Old High German spelling of Odin; 75

Wütende Heer
75; German: "furious" or "raging" army

Wuxtry-Wuxtry, Mickey
738; "Wuxtry wuxtry, read all about it"; "world-renowned analyst" -- "There never was a Dr. Jamf"

Gravity's Rainbow Alpha Guide
A·B·C·D·E·F·G·H·I·J·K·L·M·N·O·P·Q·R·S·T·U·V·W·XYZ top of page
Personal tools