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xml:lang="en" lang="en" dir="ltr"> Chapter 19: 190-198 - Thomas Pynchon Wiki | Mason & Dixon

Chapter 19: 190-198

Page 190

Macclesfield and that gang
Reference to George Parker, 2nd Earl of Macclesfield, who was very prominent in effecting the changeover to the Gregorian calendar, which came into effect in 1752. From 1752 until his death, Macclesfield was president of the Royal Society. See WIKI.

Eleven Days
Reference to a lost "Eleven Days" when the English finally adopted the Gregorian calendar. The Gregorian calendar, a modification of the Julian, introduced in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII and at first adopted by only Catholic countries, was not adopted in England until 1752. It is the present calendar system which removed the leap year three times every four hundred years from the Julian calendar. It does a better job at keeping the summer solstice on June 21st. By 1752 England and the eastern part of America was finding that the summer solstice arrived on June 10th hence the need for an eleven day addition. See WIKI.

Roman Whore's Time
English epithet for the Catholic Church, the religion of the hated French; the adoption of "Roman Whore's Time" was Protestant England's long-delayed adoption of Pope Gregory XIII's reform (1582) of the Julian calendar which resulted in the loss of eleven days.

Page 192

"Time, ye see," says the Landlord, "is the money of Science, isn't it."
Cf. thematically, Time, science in Against the Day.

Schizochronick year of '52
Schizochronick = the splitting, or fission of time

Page 193

Walpole-Gang
Reference to Horatio (or Horace) Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford (24 September 1717 – 2 March 1797), who was an art historian, man of letters, antiquarian and politician. He is now largely remembered for Strawberry Hill, the home he built in Twickenham, south-west London where he revived the Gothic style some decades before his Victorian successors, and for his Gothic novel, The Castle of Otranto. As well as the book, his literary reputation rests on his Letters, which are of significant social and political interest. He was the son of Sir Robert Walpole, and cousin of Lord Nelson. From WIKI

My Father requires but four years as Earl of Macclesfield to bring the Name down
This Macclesfield is the second in his line, his father having in fact been impeached and gone to the Tower of London only four years after being named Earl. Note that Bradley was also im-peached in a sense with Susannah.

From the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica: "In 1721 the title of earl of Macclesfield was revived in favour of Thomas Parker (c. 1666-1732). The son of Thomas Parker, an attorney at Leek, young Parker was a student at Trinity College, Cambridge, and became a barrister in 1691. In 1705 he was elected member of parliament for Derby, and having gained some reputation in his profession, he took a leading part in the proceedings against Sacheverell in 1710. In the same year he was appointed lord chief justice of the queen's bench, but he refused to become lord chancellor in the following year; however he accepted this office in 1718, two years after he had been made Baron Parker of Macclesfield by George L, who held him in high esteem. In 1721 he was created Viscount Parker and earl of Macclesfield, but when serious charges of corruption were brought against him he resigned his position as lord chancellor in 1725. In the same year Macclesfield was impeached, and although he made a very able defence he was found guilty by the House of Lords. His sentence was a fine of £30,000 and imprisonment until this was paid. He was confined in the Tower of London for six weeks, and after his release he took no further part in public affairs. The earl, who built a grammar school at Leek, died in London on the 28th of April 1732."

Shirburn Castle
The moated, sometime home of the Earls of Macclesfield. It is pictured on the 1797 penny token from the Globe Series issued by Peter Skidmore.

George Parker, 2nd Earl of Macclesfield (c.1695–1764), celebrated as an astronomer, spent much time conducting astronomical observations at Shirburn Castle, which his father had bought in 1716. Here he built an observatory and a chemical laboratory. In 1761 the astronomer Thomas Hornsby observed the transit of Venus from the castle grounds. FromWIKI

Leek, Staffordshire
A busy market town in the Moorlands..Staffordshire is known as the Queen of the Moorlands

Lord Chesterfield's House
Home of Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield PC KG (22 September 1694 – 24 March 1773), who was a British statesman and man of letters... Though Dukedom refused, he continued for some years to attend the Upper House, and to take part in its proceedings. In 1751, seconded by Lord Macclesfield, president of the Royal Society, and James Bradley, the eminent mathematician, he distinguished himself greatly in the debates on the calendar, and succeeded in making the new style a fact: the Act of Parliament is sometimes known as Chesterfield's Act. Deafness, however, was gradually affecting him, and he withdrew little by little from society and the practice of politics. From WIKI.

Page 194

Mathesis
Ma·the·sis n. Learning; especially, mathematics

See page 134.

Time must be denied its freedom to elapse
again, ATD must be referenced thematically.

Page 195

Stepney
Joke on 'far, far east": Stepney is an inner-city district in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It is located 3.6 miles (5.8 km) east north-east of Charing Cross and forms part of the East End of London.

quite another relation to Time....not...the terror of time's passage

Major themes of Against the Day include time travel and time vs. timelessness.

Page 196

playing upon enormous Chimes of Crystal Antimony
Yes, this may be stretching it, but given the scene here, and its relation to space/time/Reason etc., it is interesting to note that switching the "m" and the "second n" in Antimony, gives us Antinomy, from WIKI:

The term acquired a special significance in the philosophy of Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), who used it to describe the equally rational but contradictory results of applying to the universe of pure thought the categories or criteria of reason proper to the universe of sensible perception or experience (phenomena). Empirical reason cannot here play the role of establishing rational truths because it goes beyond possible experience and is applied to the sphere of that which transcends it.

For Kant there are four antinomies connected with

1. the limitation of the universe in respect of space and time, 2. the theory that the whole consists of indivisible atoms (whereas, in fact, none such exist), 3. the problem of free will in relation to universal causality 4. the existence of a necessary being

about each of which pure reason contradicts the empirical, as thesis and antithesis. This was part of Kant's critical program of determining limits to science and philosophical inquiry.

...Or Pynchon could mean antimony, a naturally occurring metalloid WIKI

"...despite these enigmatick Gaolers?"
Seems to be a reference to the Royal Society, Macclesfield, Bradley, etc. as "cryptic jailors" of these alien Pygmies now inhabiting the lost eleven days.

Black Hole
of Calcutta, main meaning. See Wikipedia. But black holes, as discovered and named by astronomers in the 20th Century, are collapsed stars where light can not even escape because of the pull of gravity (!). Time changes, astronomers say, inside black holes. Resonance with the discussion of the loss of eleven days going on in the text here.

the Hoogli
Hoogli River, a distributary of the Ganges River, both in India.

Page 197

Lord's Assizes
The Courts of Assize, or Assizes, were periodic criminal courts held around England and Wales... An Act passed in the reign of King Edward I provided that writs summoning juries to Westminster were to appoint a time and place for hearing the causes with the county of origin. Thus they were known as writs of nisi prius (Latin "unless before"): the jury would hear the case at Westminster unless the king's justices had assembled a court in the county to deal with the case beforehand. The commission of oyer and terminer, was a general commission to hear and decide cases, while the commission of gaol delivery required the justices to try all prisoners held in the gaols (jails). From WIKI

Albedo
n. , pl. -dos . The fraction of incident electromagnetic radiation reflected by a surface, especially of a celestial body. The amount of light reflected by a moon or planet.

Page 198

the Defenestration of the Clothiers in '56
Clothiers were recorded in 1685, 1689, 1692, 1712, and 1756 and the trade apparently ceased towards the end of the 18th century.- Economic History of England

Annotation Index

One:
Latitudes and Departures

1: 5-11, 2: 12-13, 3: 14-29, 4: 30-41, 5: 42-46, 6: 47-57, 7: 58-76, 8: 77-86, 9: 87-93, 10: 94-104, 11: 105-115, 12: 116-124, 13: 125-145, 14: 146-157, 15: 158-166, 16: 167-174, 17: 175-182, 18: 183-189, 19: 190-198, 20: 199-206, 21: 207-214, 22: 215-227, 23: 228-237, 24: 238-245, 25: 245-253


Two:
America

26: 257-265, 27: 266-274, 28: 275-288, 29: 289-295, 30: 296-301, 31: 302-314, 32: 315-326, 33: 327-340, 34: 341-348, 35: 349-361, 36: 362-370, 37: 371-381, 38: 382-390, 39: 391-398, 40: 399-409, 41: 410-421, 42: 422-435, 43: 436-439, 44: 440-447, 45: 448-451, 46: 452-459, 47: 460-465, 48: 466-475, 49: 476-483, 50: 484-490, 51: 491-498, 52: 499-510, 53: 511-524, 54: 525-541, 55: 542-553, 56: 554-561, 57: 562-569, 58: 570-574, 59: 575-584, 60: 585-596, 61: 597-607, 62: 608-617, 63: 618-622, 64: 623-628, 65: 629-632, 66: 633-645, 67: 646-657, 68: 658-664, 69: 665-677, 70: 678-686, 71: 687-693, 72: 694-705, 73: 706-713

Three:
Last Transit

74: 717-732, 75: 733-743, 76: 744-748, 77: 749-757, 78: 758-773

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