- 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!
- 1 November 8th, YDAU - Interdependence Day - Boston AA
- 1.1 Page 343
- 1.2 Page 344
- 1.3 Endnote 133
- 1.4 Page 344 (cont'd)
- 1.5 Page 345
- 1.6 Endnote 134
- 1.7 Page 345 (cont'd)
- 1.8 Page 346
- 1.9 Page 347
- 1.10 Page 348
- 1.11 Page 349
- 1.12 Page 350
- 1.13 Page 351
- 1.14 Page 352
- 1.15 Page 353
- 1.16 Page 354
- 1.17 Page 355
- 1.18 Page 356
- 1.19 Page 357
- 1.20 Endnote 139
- 1.21 Page 357 (cont'd)
- 1.22 Page 358
- 1.23 Page 359
- 1.24 Page 360
- 1.25 Page 361
- 1.26 Page 362
- 1.27 Page 363
- 1.28 Page 364
- 1.29 Page 365
- 1.30 Page 366
- 1.31 Page 367
- 2 NNYC's Statue of Liberty
- 3 Boston AA, cont.
- 4 April 30th/May 1st, YDAU - More Marathe & Steeply
- 5 Himself and Lyle
- 6 More Boston AA
- 7 Himself and Lyle, cont.
November 8th, YDAU - Interdependence Day - Boston AA
(The longest chapter in the book)
"Let us rejoice"
a plastic made of polymerized styrene, if gas is entrained, it is called styrofoam
an ancient type of Mesopotamian temple tower
board made of small fibers of wood, plastic, or some combination of these and other materials
Concord is about 20 miles northwest of Boston and is the site one of the first battles of the American Revolution.
a traffic circle or, in the U.K., a roundabout
material made of thin layers of wood glued together
The twelfth and final step of AA is this: "Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs."
of or pertaining to the use of short and pithy statements
pay it forward
(jeu de mots or wordplay on 'pay it back'), thus the title of this movie
drink of alcohol
Dick Cavett and Truman Capote
Richard Alva "Dick" Cavett (born 1936) is an Emmy-award-winning television talk-show host. Truman Capote (1924-1984) was an American writer and novelist, best known for writing In Cold Blood and Breakfast at Tiffany's. Both men were remarkably short.
of diverse hue
understood or recognized by few people
Page 344 (cont'd)
This is a tubular band of ornamental material; Nodie is probably a brand name.
(of scales, sepals, plates, etc.) having adjacent edges overlapping.
Notch in a tooth one gets from repeatedly biting thread to cut it (or from holding a sewing needle between one's teeth)
front top and bottom teeth, in humans eight in all (right and left, upper and lower, central and lateral)
without interesting qualities
You can read it here.
one's ability to feel the emotions of another person
what he is
i.e., an alcoholic
not intended as a punishment
nitroglycerin, used for cardiac attacks
Page 345 (cont'd)
a hair over 90 miles per hour
a prolonged or tedious account
an allusion to a similar deliberately ludicrous list in Chapter 3 of the book Alcoholics Anonymous, read aloud at the start of many AA meetings
growing in size, as for the first half of a lunar cycle
inflammation of the serous membrane lining the abdomenal cavity
pertaining to hardening of liver tissue
inflammation of the kidneys
a close friend or companion, from the Spanish for "godfather"
a Satanic ritual based on the Roman Catholic mass
"...something whimpery instead of banging."
a reference to the last line of T.S. Eliot's poem The Hollow Men
loud and flashy
a reference to Balaklava, Ukraine, and the suicidal Charge of the Light Brigade
having one's lower jaw project beyond the upper part of one's face
a warm, rising air current
simultaneous purchase and sale of the same assets in different markets
i.e., a compound fracture, where the bone protrudes through the skin
Though the term refers to Unitarianism, here it suggests a kind of hippyesque, wishy-washyness.
Named for Paul Ludwig Hans Anton von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg (1847-1934), the German field marshal, hero of World War I, and last President of the Weimar Republic, the Hindenburg was a hydrogen-filled zeppelin that exploded over Lakehurst, N.J., on May 6, 1937.
so as not to appear in one's urine
blissful or angelic
a brand of lighter made in Bradford PA
A play on words. "Saccharin" is the artificial sweetener in Sweet & Low (coffee is being discussed); "saccharine" means "overly sweet."
confused or perplexed
foul and repulsive
using few words
a tense of verb implicating a command or directive
an Irishman who is a permanent resident non-citizen of the U.S.
i.e., "with the pedal to the metal," i.e., at top speed
Psychosis (called "speed psychosisis") a not uncommon side effect of amphetamine abuse.
to speak poetically
"'d been a confarmed..."
I'd been a confirmed bowl-splatterer for years beyond counting. I'd been barred from the facilities at all the truck stops betwixt here and New York for years. The wallpaper in the loo at home hung in these curled sheets from the wall, I tell you. But now one day . . . I'll remember it always. It were a week to the day after I stood up for my ninety-day chip. I were three months sober. I were there on the throne at home, you know. Not to put too fine a point on it, I produced as usual and . . . and I were so amazed as to not believing my ears. It was a sound so unfamiliar at the first I thought I'd dropped my wallet in the loo, do you know? I thought I'd dropped me wallet in the loo as god is my witness. So down I bend betwixt my knees and had a look in the dim of the loo and couldn't believe my eyes. So good people I do then I drop to my knees by the loo and had a real look. A lover's look, do you know? And friends it were a lovely past my poor powers to say. It were a turd in the loo. A real turd. It were firm and tapered and ever so gently arched. It looked . . . constructed instead of sprayed. It look as I felt in my heart God himself made a turd to look. My friends, this turd of mine practically had a pulse. I stayed down on my knees and thanked my Higher Power, which I choose to call my Higher Power God, and I been thanking my Higher Power on my knees ever since, morning and nighttime and in the loo as well, ever since.
In AA, medals, or chips, are awarded to commemorate certain lengths of sobriety
involuntary loss of bladder control, if while awake, pants-wetting; if while sleeping, bed-wetting
a penile erection that won't go away
inability to hold one's bowels to the extent that feces shoot out of the anus
castration of one's self
Birchism is adherence to the principles of the John Birch Society, an ultra-right-wing political organization
The National Socialists were the Nazis, and bund is German for bunch, but it's unclear why Wallace uses Bundtism with the t rather than simply Bundism. This could refer to something like the German-American Bund of Fritz Julius Kuhn.
Coprophilia and -phagia
sexual excitement brought on by feces and eating of feces, respectively
a holder for more than one candle
something highly caustic or severe, as criticism; the phrase prodigy of vitriolic spine must refer to someone with an impressive and courageous capacity (talent?) for scathing criticism
i.e., au revoir, the French for "goodbye"
characterized by tremor vibrations in any part of the body
green with vegetation
having veins that are visible through the skin
A shaman is a priest or religious official, usually of an indigenous religion. A fiat is an order, based on the Latin for the imperative form of the verb "to be."
18.6 miles per hour
in a way suggesting something having to do with a magic charm or amulet
from Matthew 20:9-13
meaning an electric ballast, which is used to regulate and stabilize the current in fluorescent lights
knotty and misshappen
the short name for the Philadelphia 76ers
This is the Massachusetts Correction Institute at Walpole, about 25 miles southwest of Boston.
an alcoholic drink fermented from raisins, commonly made in prisons
looking like a ghost
the Buick LeSabre
a slang term meaning "always screwing up"
short for "dashboard"
sunken to a low position, as in "abject poverty"
The Latin phrase sub rosa means "under the rose" and is used in English to denote secrecy or confidentiality
control or rule over one's self
of or pertaining to the study of insects.
Page 357 (cont'd)
The Reverend Frederick McFeely "Fred" Rogers (1928-2003) was an American minister and children's television show host.
speak in an extravagantly elegant manner
abusive expressions of opinion
Sergeant at Arms
an officer appointed to keep order
a short, pithy statement
happening at night
a shepherd's staff
You can see French-curled jewelry here.
in an affectedly modest way
distances around the edge of a circle
dead skin at the bottom of the fingernails
a chemical that tends to dry something else out; here it probably means "severe, austere, stern" (OED)
You can see onionlights here.
2-propanol, a type of alcohol, comprising rubbing alcohol ('surgical spirit' in the U.K.)
to smell very badly
Assistant District Attorney
permeated with gas to kill insects or other vermin
a peculiarity of personality
material taken from the rattan plant, a climbing palm with very long stems
This is the AA "bible," so to speak, and can be found online here.
As Bill Sees It
a book by Bill W., one of AA's founders, first published in 1967
Came To Believe
another AA publication, this one published in 1973
a brand name of meperidine (USA) or pethidine (UK), a synthetic narcotic 'painkiller'
having to do with light
one of five species of poisonous snake
The reference is to glossolalia.
essential or necessary
The word means "able to see the veins"; this condition of the nose is very common among advanced alcoholics.
This is a song whose title is from the Italian for "to fly." The song was written by Domenico Modugno and Franco Migliacci. Modugno went on to be a member of Italy's parliament
pupil and iris
The pupil is the black circle at the center of the eye, while the iris is the colored part (blue, green, brown, gray, hazel).
which is to say, in Lenz's case, unsuccessfully incognito
an Italian brand of shoes
an external boundary
the edge of woven fabric finished so as to prevent raveling, often in a narrow tape effect, different from the body of the fabric.
recalling the 12th step on page 344, UHID must lack this step, or perhaps one of the others
Rémy-Martin, a brand of cognac
a brand name of cigar with built in holder, more or less
the paddles used in defibrillation, the application of electric shocks to the heart to re-start it
Normally a golf term, a divot is the chunk of turf whose ejection leaves a hole in the fairway when one strikes a golf ball.
the quality of being offensive
Usually referring to an owner, here it refers to feeling as if one has a sense of ownership.
the very end of the large intestine
having exaggerated pride or self-confidence
a type of golf club
off the fairway on the tenth hole of a golf course
women's shoes without heels
relating to or denoting a mood of verbs expressing what is imagined or wished or possible. Compare with indicative.
at variance with what really happened
According to Merriam-Webster, "indicative" means "of, relating to, or constituting a verb form or set of verb forms that represents the denoted act or state as an objective fact."
exchanging the positions of two things
The name of the original microwave oven by Amana
NOAD: 13. a state or situation of a specified, usually bad or difficult, nature • this is a sad pass for a fixture that used to crackle with excitement.
NOAD: suggest or call attention to indirectly; hint at
a piled and nappy material resembling velvet
an ornamental covering for a horse, or just rich clothing
a small mallet or hammer with which an auctioneer, a judge, or the chair of a meeting hits a surface to call for attention or order.
NNYC's Statue of Liberty
huge photo album
The book held by the statue reads, "JULY IV MDCCLXXVI ."
as opposed to the torch it currently holds
spikes used by mountain climbers for support
Boston AA, cont.
to express disapproval
embarrassment at having failed
neologism, or misspelling of aphasic, unable to speak
former department store in the Boston area, now owned by Macy's, famous or perhaps notorious at one time for the sales held in its basement
not ironic, i.e., totally expected and not at all a surprise
lacking in sincerity, pretending to be naïve
carrying something awkwardly or slowly
from the deprogrammer's point of view, reversing the brainwashing that induced someone to adhere to a religious cult
Naked I Club
a real strip club mentioned here
U.S. 1 runs from Fort Kent, Maine, at the Canadian border, down to Key West, Florida, largely hugging the Atlantic coast
a suburb of Boston about ten miles north of the city
the cause or source of a medical problem
extended to great, unnecessary, or tedious length; long and wordy.
a Southern term for a crawfish
an animal without a spine
the phylum of the animal kingdom containing all animals with spines
former name of organization when it was just for girls
one of France's largest cosmetics manufacturers
gruesome or shocking
the quality of always being present everywhere
a real insurance company
columns of buildings built according to the Doric order
the ability to be easily bent
Ramparts and Commonweal
Ramparts was a magazine founded for a Catholic leadership but eventually found its niche with the New Left. Commonweal was and still is a publication by and for lay Catholics.
Sally Jessy Raphael M.S.W.
Sally Jessy Raphael (born Sally Lowenthal, 1938) is an American talk-show host. She does not hold an M.S.W., i.e., a Master's of Social Work
the status of being an accomplice in a wrongdoing
Wounded, Hurting, Inadequately Nurtured but Ever-Recovering Survivors
Look at the initials of the capitalized words.
the oustide edge of something
a dressing table
a complex system within the brain; the most primitive portion of the mammalian brain, associated with emotions
an attack from all sides
rasa the tabula
This is a playful inversion of tabula rasa, Latin for "blank state" and used in the philosophy of John Locke (1632-1704). The sense here is to clean the slate.
a large printed handkerchief, typically red or blue with a white design
surrounding the mouth
vacuole and optica
These are parts of a cell, the optica likely being some kind of "seeing" organ.
a single-celled organism
some Catholic statue
The statue described strongly appears to be Bernini's The Ecstasy of St Theresa. This statue is also referred to by name at endnote 24, page 988 in the synopsis of James Incandenza's film Pre-Nuptial Agreement of Heaven and Hell.
The Liturgy of the Hours is the official set of daily prayers prescribed by the Catholic Church to be recited at the canonical hours by the clergy, religious orders, and laity
Often this word is used to denote a baby angel, but the actual connotation of the original Hebrew is of a fearsome warrior angel. A cherub guards the Garden of Eden in Genesis so that Adam and Eve cannot go back in.
intravenous, i.e., directly into a vein
unspoken but implied
Six Flags Over the Poconos
Six Flags is a chain of amusement parks. There is not currently one in the Pocono Mountains.
This is the mythological spelling of "labyrinth," meaning generically a maze, but more specifically denoting the maze built by Daedalus of ancient Greek myth.
Daedalus built his famous maze to house the Minotaur, a monster that was half man and half bull and the product of sexual congress between Europa, queen of Crete, and Zeus in the form of a bull.
aides de camp
confidential assistants to a military officer
departed suddenly and in secret
Wallace really means "quasi-Fascist" rather than "proto-Fascist"; it's not as if the rules of AA are the harbinger of Fascism to come.
a synonym of "absconded"
This word means: "Thus; so. Used to indicate that a quoted passage, especially one containing an error or unconventional spelling, has been retained in its original form or written intentionally" (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language).
April 30th/May 1st, YDAU - More Marathe & Steeply
a projecting ridge on a mountain
see note, p. 65
a small bright spot
"...launching even one ship or vessel."
unlike Helen of Troy, whose face "launched a thousand ships" according to Homer
Himself and Lyle
More Boston AA
American slang term for an accent – usually Irish or Scottish – from the Irish word 'bróg', meaning 'shoe'.
an eighth of an ounce of cocaine
capable of having light pass through; but not transparent
having an abruptly projecting point, as a feather or leaf.
wrapped tightly in cloth strips
brilliant ("hot") pink, the color of the flower of the same name
abnormal growth of cells or tissue
acts of protest
a policeman who patrols the streets
difficult to understand; recondite
a metallic element most commonly used for the filaments of incandescent light bulbs described here, also known as wolfram
the fashion house known in long form as the House of Chanel
reserve, restraint, inhibition, diffidence, shyness; unresponsiveness, quietness, taciturnity, secretiveness
dilation (of the cervix) and curetage (scraping) of the uterus
the tissue that nourishes a fetus and makes up the afterbirth
Social Security Insurance
Himself and Lyle, cont.
showing lack of judgment
This is "the semifluid mass into which food is converted by gastric secretion and which passes from the stomach into the small intestine" (Random House Unabridged Dictionary).
Latrodectus Mactans Productions