Pages 157-181

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157* · Winter B.S. 1960

Page 158

most swinish, i.e., most pig-like

a pejorative intensifier, chiefly British in usage

something very small

the Beats
members of the Beat generation

Page 159


1956 Mercury Montclair
See right, though Incandenza's father's car is "bit-lip red."

full of small protuberances

another word for tendon

According to the OED, a parp is a honking sound; parping is defined as causing something (as a car horn) to parp.

Head is body. Incandenza's father is expressing a non-Cartesian point of view. René Descartes (1596-1650), the French polymath, separated the mind (res cogitans) from the body (res extensa).

rutilant bright red

Page 160

actuating putting into action

Nein? German: No?

tiller what turns the rudder to steer a boat

Page 161

pronator teres a muscle of the forearm

Page 162

whorled having whorls, i.e., coiled and spiral shapes

Page 163

flying sod He's referring to divots, i.e., bits of the fairway that get torn up when a golf ball is hit.

anal rage He's probably referring to anal-retentive rage, rather than rage specifically located in the anus.

Page 164

DeSotos a brand of automobile, examples of which can be seen here

hove past tense of heave

lox smoked salmon

gregariously in a sociable manner

Page 165

Himself Note that Incandenza's father calls his own father by the same nickname as Incandenza's children call him.

senza errori Italian: Without errors

veldt From Afrikaans, this is a word for an open field with grass, bushes, etc.

deft quick and skillful

President here referring to Franklin Roosevelt

lattice This is "a structure of crossed wooden or metal strips usually arranged to form a diagonal pattern of open spaces between the strips" (Random House Unabridged Dictionary).

Page 166

Page 167

Bisbee a city of Arizona, 82 miles south of Tuscon

Dean probably referring to James Dean

Page 168

inertia absence of motion

scabrous having a rough surface because of minute points or projections

mortified having undergone mortification of the flesh, i.e., abuse of the body by one's self as a form of penance

USC the University of Southern California

Avalon probably Frankie Avalon

Page 169

169 · Pemulis Scores DMZ

Page 169

Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment

Latinate suggestive in style of the ancient Romans

Inman Square a square in Cambridge named for colonial merchant Ralph Inman

Brioni a high-fashion clothes company

Mr. Howell Gilligan's Island character Thurston J. Howell, III

rakish jaunty or dashing

Page 170

oxfords formal shoes with laces

nacelle the enclosed part of an airplane, where the engine is housed

DMZ Most commonly, this acronym stands for "demilitarized zone," as in the area between North and South Korea. Here it is a made-up drug name.

MED.COM not a real Web site

mescaline Mescaline is the active ingredient in peyote.

TMA an acronym for trimethoxyamphetamine

DOM or STP STP stands for "serenity, tranquity, and peace," and it's a pseudonym for DOM, which stands for dimethoxy-4-methylamphetamine.

DMT acronym for [ dimethyltryptamine

Ololiuqui or datura's scopolamine, or Fluothane, or Bufotenine (a.k.a. 'Jackie-O.'), or Ebene Ololiuqui is a type of morning glory plants, the seeds of which are known to be hallucinogenic. Datura's scopolamine is another name for hyoscine. Fluothane is an inhaled general anesthetic. Bufotenine is an alternate spelling of bufotenin and is the active ingredient in the skin of toads that cause hallucinations when licked. (I have no idea why it's called "Jackie-O.") Ebene is a South American tree that yields a hallucinogen used in rituals.

Endnote 56

PMA acronym for [paramethoxyamphetamine paramethoxyamphetamine]

myristicin Found in nutmeg, it does not have hallucinogenic properties.

ergine Also called LSA, it's found in morning glory seeds

ibogaine Found in varieties of dogbane, it is a drug used to ease heroin withdrawal.

yagé's harmaline Yagé is the native name for banisteria. Harmaline is the active ingredient.

fitviavi apparently a coined word

Page 170 (cont'd)

Endnote 57

Tibetan-Dead-Book better known as the Tibetan Book of the Dead

Futurist referring to Italian Futurism, an art movement on the early 20th century

Page 170 (cont'd)

chemist at Sandoz Pharm. This would be Albert Hoffman (born 1906), a Swiss scientist best known for first synthesizing LSD.

Alan Watts Alan Wilson Watts (1915-1973) was a British-born philosopher and writer in the field of comparative religion.

T. Leary Timothy Francis Leary (1920-1996) was an American writer and psychologist best known as an advocate for regular LSD use.

Millbrook NY a town in New York state, about 90 miles north of New York City

WYYY actually a radio station in Syracuse, New York

Page 171

Riverside Hamlet The Riverside Shakespeare is one of the better-known editions of Shakespeare's work. Note that Hal, who is based on the character Hamlet, is reading Hamlet.

Consummation of the Levirates A levirate is a man called up to marry his elder brother's childless widow, in accordance with Jewish Law.

Baron's a deliberate (probably) misspelling of Barron's

Tilden on Spin The book by William Tatem "Big Bill" Tilden II (1893-1953), American tennis giant, is actually entitled Match Play and the Spin of the Ball.


Page 172

Year of the Yushityu...

Page 173

stevedore a person who loads and unloads cargo from boats

40 km. almost 25 miles

Schnell German: Quickly

Page 174

formants and fricatives, trochaically stressed A format is, according to Wikipedia, "a peak in an acoustic frequency spectrum which results from the resonant frequencies of any acoustic system." A fricative is a phoneme produced by forcing air through tight lips. In English, fricatives are /s/, /z/, /th/, and /zh/. Trochaically means spoken in trochees, or a metrical foot on two syllables with the stress on the first (the word "trochee" is a trochee).

aperture An aperture is an opening; here it is probably referring to the anus.

Page 175

8 1/2 a film by Federico Fellini

intensile incapable of being stretched

Page 176

Noxzema a skin cleaner marketed by Procter & Gamble

Contracol not a drug currently marketed in the U.S.

Epsom salts Magnesium sulfate, used to relieve pain, among other uses.

176 · Selected Transcripts

Page 176

Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment

Page 177

Higher Power Most twelve-step drug or alcohol recovery programs teach a belief in God or a "Higher Power" (the latter to soften the blow to atheists).

Kemp and Limbaugh Jack French Kemp, Jr. (born 1935), is a conservative American politician, former member of the House of Representative, former Secretary for Housing and Urban Development, and 1996 candidate for Vice President.

Rush Hudson Limbaugh III (born 1951) is a conservative radio talk-show host.

formicate to crawl like ants

Page 178

magnaminously a (probably deliberate) misspelling of "magnanimously," i.e., generously

the Fenway the Fenway-Kenmore section of Boston

Page 179

septum more specifically, the nasal septum

harelip also known as cleft lip or cleft palate

doocy I have no idea

Page 180

2% proof Redundant because "proof" is an expression of alcohol content. Doubling the alcohol percentage gives you proof, i.e., 2% alcohol is 4 proof.

Page 181

181* · Madame Psychosis on the Radio

Page 181

Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment

Madame Psychosis not just a byname for DMZ, but also a radio show host

Page 182

particidal having a tendency to kill one's father

entomologist a person who studies insects scientifically

sephenoid a misspelling for sphenoid

Infundibular having the form of a funnel

epiglottal having to do with the epiglottis

Hillel a nationwide (worldwide?) Jewish student union present on several campuses

corpus callosum the part of the brain connecting the left and right hemispheres

larygeally fissured having ridges like the human larynx

work-study receiving funding from the university in exchange for work rendered to the university

Page 183

chiffon a lightweight, balanced, plain-woven fabric

limned To limn means to describe

parietal referring to the parietal lobe of the brain, responsible for sensory memory and response

pop Midwesterners in the U.S. use this word to denote what others call "soda," i.e., Coca-Cola, 7-Up, etc.

Dow a pun on the Chinese word tao, ("the way") and the Dow Jones Industrial Average

gasper cigarette

E.S.T. Eastern Standard Time

medulla literally that part of the brain responsible for autonomic functions like heartbeat, organ activity, etc.

Page 184

I. M. Pei Ieoh Ming Pei (born 1917) is a Chinese-born American architect who designed, among other famous buildings, MIT's Green Building.

Endnote 60

J. A. Stratton Julius Adams Stratton (1901-1994) was an American educator and president of MIT between 1959 and 1965.

Page 184 (cont'd)

cerebral cortex that part of the brain responsible for higher-order thinking

"...what she's said for three years of midnights..." Up until 'Look at that fucker Dance,' the rest of her introduction is from Genesis 1.

Largest Whole Prime On The FM Band 109 is a prime number, i.e., divisible only by itself and by 1. Actually the highest number you can get on FM is 108, and there are no whole numbers in FM radio in the U.S.

EM probably denoting "electromagnetic"

centrifugal that force in a spinning object that tends to push away objects from the angle of rotation

Hundt Act Reed E. Hundt (born 1948) was chairman of the Federal Communications Committee in 1996, when the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was passed. Wallace may be riffing on that, as it appears there was no equivalent legislation in 1966.

spatter's center The spatter referred to here is probably the small amount of FM bands that can be sent out.

inelastic When used with regard to demand, this term means tending not to change.

3-km. cannon The range is about 1.86 miles.

P.E. Physical Education

Philology The love of language, the term is also used to describe the study of literature.

Page 185

hypogonadism lack of function of the ovaries or testicles

Nodular leprosy with leonine facies a form of leprosy that generates lesions made of nodes and that produces lion-like facial expressions (i.e., "leonine facies")

The acromegalic and hyperkeratosistic. The enuretic. Arcomegaly is a disorder of the pituitary gland whereby it produces too much human growth hormone, resulting in giantism. Hyperkeratosistic means that one is suffering from hyperkeratosis. Enuresis is the inability to urinate.

The spasmodically torticollic. having a head tilted to one side (torticollis) involving convulsions (spasmodic)

G.S.L. Guaranteed Student Loan

treillage latticework

interneural between nerves

semitic ideograms Semitic languages actually tend to be written uses alphabets, where a symbol denotes a phoneme, rather than in ideograms, like Chinese and Korean are. The oldest alphabet is the Phoenician, which was Semitic.0

rostral lamina in biology, a beaklike or snoutlike (rostral) layer of tissue (lamina)

neuroform Neuroform is actually the brand-name of a type of stent.

S.O.P. Standard Operating Procedure

neorealist adhering to Italian neorealism

Peterson/Broughton and Dali/Buñuel Sidney Peterson and James Broughton collaborated on The Potted Psalm (1946), an experimental film.

Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, 1st Marquis of Púbol (1904-1989) and Luis Buñuel Portolés (1900-1983) were both Spanish artists. They collaborated on Un chien andalou (An Andalusian Dog, 1929), another experimental film.

Deren/Hammid Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid codirected Meshes of the Afternoon

Antonioni Michelangelo Antonioni (1912-2007) was an Italian filmmaker probably most famous for Blowup.

Tarkovsky Andrei Arsenyevich Tarkovsky (1932-1986) was a Soviet-Russian filmmaker.

Sometimes Ozu and Bresson Yasujirō Ozu (1903-1963) was a Japanese filmmaker. Robert Bresson (1901-1999) was a French filmmaker.

hoary dramaturgy According to Wikipedia, dramaturgy is "the art of dramatic composition and the representation of the main elements of drama on the stage." To call it "hoary" would be to imply it's old.

Sir Herbert Tree Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree (1852-1917) was a British actor and manager. You can hear his performances of Hamlet here.

Kaelesque In the style of Pauline Kael (1919-2001), an American film critic for New Yorker magazine.

De Palma, Tarantino Brian De Palma and Quentin Tarantino

Endnote 61

dissociative formalism presumably formalism that focuses too much on form and not enough on character and other aspects of filmmaking

Stan Brakhage and Hollis Frampton Stan Brakhage (1933-2003) and Hollis Frampton (1936-1984) were American avant-garde filmmakers.

Beth B. You can read about here here.

the Snow brothers, Vigdis Simpson One of the Snow brothers would have to be Michael Snow (born 1929), a Canadian-American filmmaker, principally known for Wavelength. Vigdis Simpson seems created.

Page 185 (cont'd)

Brutalism, Found Drama Brutalism may refer to brutalist architecture. Found Drama is the cinematic extension of Found Art.

dissonant inharmonious with other things (here, aspects of Madame Psychosis's taste)

Page 186

Baraka Imamu Amiri Baraka (born Everett LeRoi Jones, 1934) is an African-American poet, playwright, author, and political activist.

piamater actually two words: Pia mater

sulci plural of "sulcus," a furrow or groove, particularly between sections of the brain

A.Y. ('V.F.') Rickey's summum opus V. Frederick Rickey is a prominent mathematician. I don't know who A.Y. Rickey is/was, but it is notable that there is, in fact, no Student Union building at MIT.

Summum opus would be a "great work" while magnum opus would be the "best work."

parietooccipital referring to both the parietal lobe of the brain, as well as the occipital lobe, which is where vision is processed

Pons and abducent The Pons is a structure on the brain stem, while the abducens nerve is a nerve in the muscles of the eye.

basilar-stem artery a stem of an artery that carries blood to the brain

oblongata the second half of the full name of the medulla

Page 187

FHC acronym for "fluorohydrocarbon," this is a type of fluroplastic, known to give off poisonous fumes

Heathkit The company's Web site is here.

10ºC fifty degrees Fahrenheit

five m. almost 16.5 feet

vascularly hued colored like a blood vessel

mercuric employing the element mercury

wooferless lacking the larger speaker (i.e., the "woofer") found in multi-speaker systems

saddle-noses noses having a collapsed nasal bridge

atrophic shrinking in size

Scleredema adultorum a disease characterized by non-pitting induration of the skin

serodermatotic suffering from serodermatosis, a skin disease with serous effusion into the skin

hydrocephalic having water on the brain

tabescent and chachetic Tabescent refers to a person with tabes dorsalis, and chachetic (probably misspelled) apparently refers to a person with cachexia.

Brag's-Diseased This would seem to be a type of glioma, though it is mentioned almost nowhere.

carbuncular or steatocryptotic Carbuncular means "pimply," while steatocryptotic refers to a person suffering from steatocryptosis, which is derangement of the sebaceous glands.

Marin-Amat Syndrome This is involuntary closure on one eye, named for Manuel Marin Amat, an early 20th century Spanish ophthalmologist.

scrofulodermic suffering from cutaneous tuberculosis

Bell-shaped steatopygiacs A steatopygiac is a person suffering from steatopygia; if you're bell-shaped, it just means the fat is closer to the bottom than the top

Pityriasis Rosea a skin disease marked by patches of pink, oval rash

"Blessed are the poor in body, for they." This is not one of the Beatitudes.

U.H.I.D. This is a bona fide acronym for "Universal Health Identifier," though it's doubtful this is what Wallace means. A HID is a "Human Interface Device"; U could stand for "university" or "universal" or something else entirely. Ah, what he means: Union of Hideous and Improbably Deformed

probability waves for subhadronics Probability waves are a concept in quantum physics that expresses the probability that "a particle or particles in a particular state will be measured to have a given position and momentum" (Wikipedia). Subhadronic refers to a particle smaller than a hadron.

Page 188

Radcliffe's Bunting Institute Radcliffe is the women's college at Harvard University. According to the Harvard Web site, "The Bunting Institute is a mutidisciplinary center for women scholars, writers, artists, and activists of demonstrated achievement and promise. Each year, approximately 40 women pursue projects that make significant contributions to their fields, working in a community that fosters interdisciplinary discourse, and creative and intellectual leadership. Some describe their experience as "the Bunting transformation."

L.A.S. tradition Liberal Arts and Sciences

Endnote 64

Samuel Johnson Samuel Johnson, LL.D. (1709-1784), was a British poet, essayist, novelist, literary critic, and lexicographer.

Beesley Patricia Beesley, an early 20th century American educator who did author the book named.

cornup3.COM There is no such Web site.

mens-sana pedagogy "healthy-mind" teaching

ad valorem Latin: by value

corpore potis Latin: able of body

Thorp's Trigonometry of Cubes Edward Oakley Thorp (born 1932) is an American mathematician, but he seems not to have created a "trigonometry of cubes," which would be, frankly, impossible.

aphotic to apochromatic Aphotic means without light, while apochromatic means developing color.

Best Boy a member of a film crew, assistant to either the gaffer or key grip

Cambridgeport an area of Cambridge, Mass.

Page 189

leukodermatic white-skinned

xanthodantic misspelling of xanthodontic, which means yellow-toothed

basilisk-breathed and pyorrheic A basilisk is a type of dragon, and pyorrhea is the condition of having gum disease.

Page 190

peronic or teratoidal Peronic means having a bent penis, while teratoidal means malformed.

prenologically malformed malformed in the shape of the skull

supuratively lesioned having lesions that ooze pus

acervulus-nosed having blisters on the nose

radically -ectomied -having to do with body-part removal (think radical mastectomy)

diaphoretic perspiring

granulomatous having masses of ulcerated infections of the skin

lazarettes and oubliettes A lazarette is a hospital that treats infectious diseases, while an oubliette is a dungeon accessible only by trapdoor.

kyphotic and lordotic Kyphotic means having abnormal rear curvature of the spine (i.e., hunchbacked), while lordotic having abnormal forward curvature of the spine.

cellulitic fat

fatally pulchritudinous deadly good-looking

Actaeonizing turning into a deer; growing horns

Medusoid looking like a gorgon

papuled, the macular, the albinic Papules are inflammatory elevations of the skin. Macular means having opaque spots on the cornea. Albinic is having no melanin.

odalisques a concubine or slave in a harem

ital italics, used for emphasis

crosiers a crosier is a type of French roll

lager a type of beer, medium in darkness

vin blanc French: white wine

Page 191


Good Morning, Midnight and Maggie: A Girl of the Streets and Giovanni's Room and Under the Volcano Good Morning, Midnight is a novel by Jean Rhys (1890-1979), born Ella Gwendolen Rees Williams, a Caribbean novelist, on the topic of a woman forced to confront her own loneliness and despair. Maggie: A Girl of the Streets is a novel by Stephen Crane (1871-1900), an American novelist, on the topic of a child prostitute. Giovanni's Room by African-American expatriate author James Arthur Baldwin (1924-1987) is a novel on the topic of a young man coming to terms with his homosexuality. Under the Volcano is a novel by Malcolm Lowry (1909-1957), a British writer, on the topic of alcoholism.

Bret Ellis Bret Easton Ellis (born 1965) is an American novelist probably best known for Less Than Zero (1985), about a drug addict who turns to prostitution, and American Psycho (1991), about a serial killer.

van der Rohe Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969) was a German-born American architect.

Endnote 66

R.E.M. and Pearl Jam R.E.M.'s lead singer, Michael Stipe, was famous for his unintelligible lyrics until around 1987's Document. Pearl Jam's vocalist, Eddie Vedder, is as cryptic now as he was fifteen years ago, when they released their first record.

Page 191 (cont'd)

wall- and cross-eyed To be wall-eyed is to suffer from exotropia, which is a form of ocular paralysis in which one or both eyes turn outward.

ergotic of St. Anthony An old name for ergot poisoning is "St. Anthony's fire," which is ergot poisoning. However, given the context, Wallace may be referring here to shingles.

varicelliformally eruptive a type of eczema due to herpes.

sarcoma'd of Kaposi Karposi's sarcoma is a usually benign skin cancer common in elderly Mediterranean men that has become the most easily identifiable visible symptom of AIDS.

M. Hamilton as Oz's West Witch Referring to The Wizard of Oz, the Wicked Witch of the West (and East) was played by Margaret Hamilton.

Page 192


RCA-Victorish The image can be seen to the right.

snaggle-toothed having a broken or projecting tooth

wattled having flesh hanging from one's chin, like a turkey

lycanthropically in a way suggesting a werewolf

Tourettic suffering from Tourette's syndrome

teratoid resembling a monster

halitotic having bad breath

saurian- and equine-looking looking like a lizard or horse, respectively

invaginate sheathed

Cushing's Disease Named for Harvey Williams Cushing (1869-1939), an American neurologist, this disease is an endocrine disorder resulting in rapid weight gain, sweating, thinning of skin, and other negative side effects.

Rhinoplasty nose job

subdural below the dura mater in the skull

Page 193

les bâtiments sanctifíes French: the holy buildings

Metropolis a 1927 film directed by Fritz Lang

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