ATD 1018-1039

Revision as of 23:28, 5 March 2007 by WikiAdmin (Talk | contribs) (Page 1037)

Please keep these annotations SPOILER-FREE by not revealing information from later pages in the novel.

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Page 1018

All Europe sweltered
A possible jump in time of the action. I can't find year-by-year weather records going back to the 1910s, though.

1911 seems to have been a particularly hot summer in Great Britain and Central Europe (german Wikipedia)

Perhaps more a reference (paramorphic mirroring) of present-day Europe's heat waves, attributed to climate change.

Page 1019

the well-known Tour d'Argent in Paris
Wikipedia says the establishment is over 400 years old.

Wine bottle with a capacity of 16 liters.

Not long before, Pugnax had convinced her to come aboard
So the action here is set before Kseniya's encounter with Ljubica?

Or possibly some re-writing has taken place and the two passages no longer match up. Two reasons for this analysis. The description here "fiercely beautiful" does not seem to match the one on p.969 "something like a shaggy brown and blond bear with a kindly enough face". Also, despite saying that Pugnax and Kseniya only recently met, it seems that the action here is set after Kseniya's encounter with Ljubica, by which time Pugnax and Kseniya were already a steady item. We have a pretty much unbroken narrative time-line with the CoC from here until after the war, with no mention of watching over Reef, Yashmeen and Ljubica during this time.

A female Balkan sheepdog also appears in Lot 49: The crew of the midget submarine "Justine" in the movie "Cashiered" is comprised of Baby Igor, his father, and Murray the St Bernard. On shore ("should there be a happy ending") are a woman for each "and even a female sheepdog with eyes for Murray the St Bernard" (Lippincott edition P. 31-32, Bantam paperback P. 18-19).

Page 1020

Form of barometer invented in 1818, says the 1911 Britannica.

first Inconvenience after the little-known Battle of Desconocido
Another allusion to naval customs, an item claimed from a ship and carried aboard her namesake. Desconocido is Spanish: unknown.

Page 1021

Pythagorean or Counter-Earth . . . Antichthon . . . the Sun is always between us
Fictional device also used in Nabokov's Ada (though not in such a powerful way). People from one Earth can visit the other, speak the language, recognize the topography, but see differences in history and customs; neither planet can ever be aware of the other in the normal course of things.

The Counter-Earth resolves the problem of Sirius rising in the summer (annotations to page 901). When one Earth is at January in its orbit, the other is at July.

X-ray Spex
Previously mentioned on page 588.

American Republic . . . passed so irrevocably into the control of the evil and moronic
We're using Pynchon's ball, so we'll play by his rules. The Chums have journeyed from the other Earth to this one, not the other way around.

H.L. Mencken famously referred to the United States as "The Moronic Inferno." He also (Baltimore Evening Sun, July 26, 1920) wrote: "As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last,and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron." This was in the midst of the Harding campaign, but Time is becoming increasingly confused here, and no one is bragging about George W. Bush's intellect either.

Foundational Memorandum
The Star Trek Prime Directive again; see annotations to page 8 for its first occurrence.

Page 1022


Bactrian camel
Dromedary vs. Bactrian: the mnemonic says count the humps in the first letter. Bactrian, two humps.

Page 1023

Name of Lviv (Lvov, L'vov) at times when it was under Polish rule.

the High Tatra
Tatra mountain range in Slovakia.

Eastern coastal part of Libya, bordering Egypt on its east.

baleful mists above West Flanders
Much of the horror of the World War was centered here (Ypres, Menin, Passchendaele).

Page 1024

Dobro pozhalovat
Russian: Welcome!

Tsar-Bell of Moscow
Famous bell that proved too heavy for the tower it was intended for; it was displayed on the ground for centuries (and may still be).

cranberry-flavored beer
Kvass, traditional Russian beverage made by fermenting a mash of stale rye bread. It can be flavored with, among other things, cranberries.

since a great influenza epidemic
The epidemic had gone on for several years before it burst out at the end of the World War and killed millions.

Page 1025

Russian: scoundrel.

Russian (from German): staff, support center, headquarters.

Page 1026

Page 1027

Russian: of course.

Japanese-American expeditionary force
Of 1919, sent to Vladivostok and environs against the Bolsheviks.

relocation of Admiral Kolchak's government from Omsk
A. V. Kolchak (1873-1920), an organizer of the White counterrevolutionary movement in the Russian Civil War, dictator of a realm in Siberia, the Urals and the Far East. In our history he was captured and shot.

Page 1028

Feast day of St. Martin of Tours, November 11.

Page 1029

Consequences may never end
They certainly haven't. The Balkans remain a powderkeg, and the Iraq War is a direct consequence of the destruction and partition of the Ottoman Empire in World war I. But the consequences of any act never really end...

Russian: sky-comrade.

repeating great vertical circles
Like hot-air balloons (nondirigibles) in the "box" outside Albuquerque, New Mexico.

standard cubic feet
Measure of quantity of gas: number of cubic feet that would be occupied if the gas were at "standard conditions," i.e., 60 degrees Fahrenheit (usually) and 1 atmosphere or 14.7 pounds per square inch.

Page 1030

Sodality of Ætheronauts
A sodality is a society; the ætheronauts use the æther as their medium of flight.

Recalls Cyprian Latewood's Sisters of the Night.

Fuel suitable for use in a compression-ignition engine.

found her way
The members of the Sodality have backstories reminiscent of the Lost Boys in Peter Pan.

mysteries of inconvenience
Might as well capitalize it. The Inconvenience and her crew do indeed work by making small alterations in Time and History, one of many forces doing so, and those forces are multiplying rapidly. There are several references to such minor "inconveniences" throughout the book; here such "inconveniences" create yet more forces (The Sodality) able to create yet more alterations...

Page 1031

list of variables . . . Reynolds Number
Quantities describing the æther as if it were a real medium like air.

Like Sidney and Beatrice Webb around here
Sidney James Webb, 1st Baron Passfield PC (13 July 1859 – 13 October 1947): British socialist, economist and reformer, normally referred to in the same breath as his wife, Beatrice Webb. They early members of the Fabian Society in 1884, along with G. Bernard Shaw, turning it into the pre-eminent political-intellectual society in England in the Edwardian era and beyond. In H.G. Wells's The New Machiavelli (1911), the Webbs, as 'the Baileys', are unmercifully lampooned as short-sighted, bourgeois manipulators. [1], [2]

Page 1032

"the boys expressed wonder at how much more infected with light the night-time terrains passing below them had become [...] they felt themselves in uneasy witness to some final conquest, a triumph over night whose motive none could quite grasp"
Compare: "...within the daylit and obvious and taken-for-granted has always lain, as if in wait, the dark itinerary, the corrupted pilgrim's guide, the names Station before the first, in the lightless uncreated, where salvation does not yet exist." (p. 566), "daylit America . . . its steadfast denial of night" (page 732), and AtD epigraph, Thelonious Monk's "It's always night, or we wouldn't need light."

Page 1033

subjunctive mood . . . two-word vulgarism
In an expression like "Screw you," the verb is not in the imperative mood but in the subjunctive. I think. And the two-word vulgarism may be rather similar to that phrase, too.

Page 1034

huge piece of machinery . . . since 1884
The Nipkow scanner works just as described in the text; it is the basis for development work that is still in progress, though not for television.

what looked like . . . hat he was wearing
They are picking up transmissions from . . . the future? another world? In any case, this one's a rerun.

Page 1035

Page 1036

Oxone . . . Blattnerphone components
This list, all by itself, has drawn attention from a book reviewer and a blogger, both of whom regard it as "typical" of AtD. Oxone is an oxidizer in solid form, used today for swimming pool treatment. Thalofide describes a kind of photoelectric cell or electric eye. Aeolight is a brand of discharge lamp. The Blattnerphone was a wire recorder.

output . . . can be the indefinite integral of any signal
Techno-mathematical-sounding nonsense. The photographic medium does not record any time information for use in such a reconstruction.

However, what is suggested here is that every photograph potentailly generates a family of integrals (indefinite integral) f(x)+C, where C (the Constant of Integration) can be changed (f(x)+1, f(x)+2, f(x)+3...) [3]--alternate integrations, if you will (see below). This is in fact an elegant mathematical, or, better, 'pataphysical, expression of the phenomenon of looking at a single photograph and imagining it as part of a movie (which is after all just a sequence of still photographs), or of many possible movies--the movie is the integral of the photograph. This is techno-mathematical nonsense of a very particular kind: an example of 'Pataphysics [4], which its originator, the absurdist novelist and playwright Alfred Jarry [5](1873-1907) defined as "The science of imaginary solutions". His fictional creation Dr. Faustroll explains that 'Pataphysics deals with "the laws which govern exceptions and will explain the universe supplementary to this one". One can imagine any number of possible "movies" or world-lines, for the subject of a photograph, any number of alternate histories and supplementary universes.

Many of the other pseudoscientific and "Techno-mathematically nonsensical" explanations and phenomena in this and the following sections, in fact in all of AtD, could be excellent examples of 'Pataphysics: The science of imaginary solutions.

That is a very useful lead!

paranoia querelans
Elsewhere in AtD it's spelled querulans.

Page 1037

Merle [...] took from a wall safe a brilliant red crystal, brought it over to a platinoid housing and carefully slid it into place. "Lorandite — brought out of Macedonia before the Balkan Wars, pure thallium arsenosulfide, purer quality than you can find anymore."

So is this what becomes of the "crystal about the size of a human eyeball" (p. 565) that was at the heart of the Q-weapon which is sold by Edouard Gevaert to Piet Woevre, who gladly hands it over to Kit Traverse, who gives it to Quaternionist Umeki Tsurigane, who (probably?) gives it to Auberon Halfcourt in Constantinople, but more likely takes it with her to Japan (p. 906) where Baz Zaharoff is headed to purchase it ("something [the Japanese] came in possession of a few years ago"). And someone brings it out of Macedonia (perhaps Kit, Reef or Yashmeen?), and Photographer Merle Rideout ends up with it, using its power to reanimate photographs and unlock Time. You remember Merle showing Frank Traverse some Icelandic spar:

“This is the stuff itself, argentaurum, about a fifty-fifty mix. And this” — into the other hand sprang a blurry crystal about the size of a pocket Bible but thin as a nymph’s mirror — “this is calcite, known in this particular format to some of the visiting labor as Schieferspath, a good pure specimen I happened to obtain one night back in Creede—yes, night does return now and then to Creede—off of a superstitious Scotchman holding a perfectly good nine of diamonds he couldn’t bring himself to hang on to. Think of this piece of spar here as the kitchen window, and just take a look through.” pp.305-306

Lorandite is a thallium arsenic sulfosalt with formula: TlAsS2. It was first discovered at Alshar, Republic of Macedonia in 1894 and named after Loránd Eötvös, physicist at the University of Budapest.

Page 1038

old gaffers
A gaffer in the motion picture industry is the head of the electrical department, responsible for the execution (and sometimes the design) of the lighting plan for a production. In British English the term gaffer is long established as meaning an old man, or the foreman of a squad of workmen. The term was also used to describe men who adjusted lighting in English theatre and men who tended street lamps, after the "gaff" they used, a pole with a hook on its end [6].

The "old man" meaning comes from a dialectal pronunciation of "grandfather." I love the idea that Roswell and Merle are gaffers (electricians) claiming to be gaffers (old men).

Page 1039

Annotation Index

Part One:
The Light Over the Ranges

1-25, 26-56, 57-80, 81-96, 97-118

Part Two:
Iceland Spar

119-148, 149-170, 171-198, 199-218, 219-242, 243-272, 273-295, 296-317, 318-335, 336-357, 358-373, 374-396, 397-428

Part Three:

429-459, 460-488, 489-524, 525-556, 557-587, 588-614, 615-643, 644-677, 678-694

Part Four:
Against the Day

695-723, 724-747, 748-767, 768-791, 792-820, 821-848, 849-863, 864-891, 892-918, 919-945, 946-975, 976-999, 1000-1017, 1018-1039, 1040-1062

Part Five:
Rue du Départ


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