- Editors: Please keep these annotations SPOILER-FREE by not revealing information from later pages in the novel. And please pay attention to formatting and grammar. Preview your changes before saving them. Thanks!
More With Gately in the Hospital
a brand of spiced ham
holding his cheek and jaw when he talks like cutout photos of the late J. Benny
Comedian Jack Benny (1894-1974) would often hold his chin with his hand while addressing an audience. See Benny's statue in Cucamonga where he is holding his cheek and jaw .
'tall' used adverbially.
apparitions or specters
plural of quantum, an indivisible entity of energy
Werner Karl Heisenberg (1901-1976) was a German physicist and one of the fathers of quantum mechanics.
a felt that looks like velvet
(perhaps used here by DFW differently) an instrument with a curved blade used to scrape sweat and dirt from the skin in a hot-air bath or after exercise
Comes from the Italian verb acciaccare, "to crush". The acciaccatura (sometimes called short appoggiatura) is perhaps best thought of as a shorter, less melodically significant, variant of the long appoggiatura, where the delay of the principal note is scarcely perceptible – theoretically subtracting no time at all." (Wikipedia)
a device used for distillation made up of a tube connecting two containers
"Latrodectus mactans, the (southern) Black widow, is a highly venomous species of spider in the genus Latrodectus. They are well known for the distinctive black and red coloring of the female of the species and for the fact that she will occasionally eat her mate after reproduction. The species is native to the United States of America and Mexico. The female black widow's venom is particularly harmful to humans (males almost never bite humans). The injection of venom from these species is a comparatively dangerous or lethal bite." (Wikipedia)
Latrodectus Mactans Productions was the name of one of the production companies James O. Incandenza did some of his film cartridges with (see filmography).
NEUTRAL DENSITY POINT
it's not clear what this refers to, but it's quite possible it refers to a concept in optics similar to the concept applied in a Neutral Density Filter, given Infinite Jest's optics motif.
"In photography and optics, a neutral density filter or ND filter can be colorless (clear) or grey filter. An ideal neutral density filter reduces and/or modifies intensity of all wavelengths or colors of light equally, giving no changes in hue of color rendition.
The purpose of standard photographic neutral density filters is to allow the photographer greater flexibility to change the aperture, exposure time and/or blur of subject in different situations and atmospheric conditions." (Wikipedia)
A term originally used in drawing and painting, chiaroscuro is also used in photography and cinematography for techniques of contrasting light and dark
The sense of the relative position of the parts of the body
Latin for "tortoise." May refer to a genus of tortoises, a type of harp, or a military formation.
Having or consisting of rings or ringlike segments.
The creation of an artistic work from a diverse range of things that are around
A person suffering from catalepsy, a condition of rigidity and unresponsiveness
The breaking up of territory into electoral districts so that one political party has a majority in as many districts as possible. On the other hand, gerrymandering has a broader meaning: creation of any irregularly-shaped electoral districts for any reason, including partisan political advantage or ensuring minority representation.
Translation of the Freudian notion of Schaulust, "pleasure in looking," in the sense of both seeing and being seen, as well as "curiosity." Freud distinguished between two frequently encountered forms of this partial drive: one active, "voyeurism," and the other passive, "exhibitionism," neither of which he would necessarily rank among perversions. [cf. scopophobic (p.226) & scopophiliac (p.230)]
(1) A character from Hamlet who blames Hamlet for the deaths of his father (Polonius) and sister (Ophelia) and seeks to avenge them by killing Hamlet with a poisoned sword. (2) In Greek mythology, one of the Argonauts and the father of Odysseus.
To push or thrust out
"A strigil was a small, curved, metal tool used in ancient Greece and Rome to scrape dirt and sweat from the body before effective soaps became available." (Wikipedia)
A condition where a person has a forward-curving spine
A tax or duty that is imposed - this word was use by Tiny Ewell while he was speaking to (or rather, at) Gately on page 815
A concavo-convex lens, or other crescent-shaped body.
"In the mathematical description of the functioning of the nervous system, the chronaxie (or chronaxy) is the minimum time over which an electric current double the strength of the rheobase needs to be applied, in order to stimulate a muscle fiber or nerve cell." (Wikipedia)
The (dead) jester in Hamlet. The quote referred to is by Hamlet, holding Yorick's skull after Yorick's remains are uncovered: 'Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest'
Poor Yorick Entertainment is the other main production company used by the late auteur.
Lucullus (two l's) was a Roman general of antiquity (Wikipedia)
the model of car owned by James Incandenza's father, Mario
Vittorio De Sica (1902-1974) was an Italian neorealist filmmaker, probably most famous for The Bicycle Thief.
"Italian neorealism is a style of film characterized by stories set amongst the poor and working class, filmed on location, frequently using nonprofessional actors. Italian neorealist films mostly contend with the difficult economical and moral conditions of post-World War II Italy, reflecting the changes in the Italian psyche and the conditions of everyday life: poverty and desperation." (Wikipedia)
A camera dolly with a crane that holds the camera.
Circumambient means walking around. "Found Drama" was one of James Incandenza's contributions to film artistic history. Levirate marriage is a tradition in several cultures whereby the younger brother of a deceased man marries the dead brother's widow. (See also Consummation of the Levirates on p. 171)
When someone inhales helium, their voice becomes high-pitched.
Regarding ghostwords, recall also pg. 303, with Poor Tony: "He was haunted by the word Zuckung, a foreign and possibly Yiddish word he did not recall ever before hearing."
a now-defunct brand of mid-20th century shoe polish, preserved in the expression, "You don't know shit from Shinola."
An epiphany is a divine manifestation, or by extension, a sudden, deep insight.
refers to a setting on a television that adjusts the picture's vertical stabilization
'Ren and Stimpy'
the main characters in a once-popular animated television series
'Oo Is 'E When 'E's at 'Ome'
"Who Is He When He's at Home?" This is a common Irish expression; if person A mentions a name in conversation that person B is unfamiliar with, person B might respond, 'And who's he when he's at home?'. The dropping of an initial 'h' is characteristic of speech in the north-of-England, rather than in Ireland.
In Ulysses, this is asked by Molly of Leopold Bloom as he explains the word Metempsychosis (Modern Library, p. 64)
Wallace is punning on the name of the once-popular television show Northern Exposure.
Gately means "Norm," as in the Cheers character "Norm Peterson" played by George Wendt; "Nom" is how a North Shore native such as Gately might pronounce the name.
Sir Osis of Thuliver
Cirrhosis of the Liver
comparatively small or insignificant
performers with no spoken lines
The Sorrow and the Pity
The Sorrow and the Pity (Marcel Ophüls, 1969) is a lengthy documentary about the operations of the French Resistance and Vichy Government during the Second World War. The film was nominated for an Academy Award in 1971 and plays a significant part in Annie Hall (Woody Allen, 1977).
Gately means "Heimlich Maneuver."
The only Schwulst I can find is Lance Schwulst, who is probably not the person referred to.
Robert Bernard Altman (1925-2006) was an American filmmaker noted for his use of ensemble casts, multiple plotlines and overlapping dialogue. His major films include Nashville (1975), The Player (1992) and Short Cuts (1993). The TV series M*A*S*H, frequently referenced in Infinite Jest, is based on his groundbreaking 1970 film.
a place of congregation, originally marketplaces in Ancient Greece
having the nature of a unit; whole
acidic; sharp or biting
a con game, similar to three-card Monte, in which the sucker attempts to predict under which of three inverted shells (or other containers) a single smaller object resides after the operator has quickly and repeatedly shuffled them
lacking liveliness or spirit
short for "package store," a Massachusetts euphemism for "liquor store"
in the alternate timeline of Infinite Jest, it's obvious that U.S. Customary systems of measurement are finally abandoned, at some point (perhaps during Reconfiguration), for the global standard of the Metric System (ed.: optimism on Wallace's part, one might say) - the weights the M.P. used were marked with U.S. "pounds" (lbs) instead of Metric kilograms (kg).
to sell stolen goods
German letter representing a high front rounded vowel, as in French tu "you". It is pronounced by producing the i-sound e.g. in "beet" with rounded lips (like for the u-sound in "boot").
Al-Anon/Alateen, Al-Anon Family Groups - support group for families/friends of alcoholics.
Stetson w/ feather
Stetson hats or Stetsons refers to the brand of hat manufactered by the John B. Stetson Company of St. Joseph, Missouri. The word 'Stetson' is sometimes used as a genericized term for a cowboy hat. Although the Stetson company makes other styles of brimmed hat, the Stetson name has become synonymous with a style it pioneered, featuring a high crown and wide brim, popularly known as a Cowboy hat. Wikipedia