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xml:lang="en" lang="en" dir="ltr"> Chapter 36: 362-370 - Thomas Pynchon Wiki | Mason & Dixon

Chapter 36: 362-370

Page 362

Cremona Violin
Cremona is a town in Italy. "From the 16th century onwards, Cremona was renowned as a centre of musical instrument manufacture, beginning with the violins of the Amati family, and later included the products of the Guarneri and Stradivari shops. To the present day, their work is widely considered to be the summit of achievement in string instrument making" -- Wikipedia

Zouks
Souks. Middle-Eastern bazaars, from Arabic suq - marketplace

Page 363

the Communication
See page 357.

"Another bonny gahn-on tha've got us into"
Reference to Laurel and Hardy ("That's another fine mess you've gotten us into!")?

Page 364

in strata
This image of layering appears frequently in the text--compare this image, for example, with the descriptions of Cape Town which also had a multifaceted society, with various groups layered, operating with large degrees of independence. See, also, "as above, so below" (p. 487) and Great Chain of Being.

trans-Elemental Uncle Toby
Uncle Toby is a character created by Laurence Sterne in his major novel, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman. Laurence Sterne (November 24, 1713 – March 18, 1768) was an Irish-born English novelist and an Anglican clergyman.

Sparks Notes notes that "after sustaining a groin-wound in battle, he [Uncle Toby] retires to a life of obsessive attention to the history and science of military fortifications." Mr. Knockwood was also obsessed with fortifying his home front, though his concerns were directed towards the element of water.

Page 365

The Assembly Room is not Bath
"Bath is a city in Somerset, England most famous for its baths fed by three hot springs. It is situated 99 miles (159 km) west of Central London and 13 miles (21 km) south east of Bristol.

The city is founded around the only naturally occurring hot springs in the United Kingdom. It was first documented as a Roman spa, although tradition suggests that it was founded earlier. The waters from its spring were believed to be a cure for many afflictions. From Elizabethan to Georgian times it was a resort city for the wealthy." -- Wikipedia

Land-Jobbers
I cannot find a good definition, but the term appears to refer to professional land dealers or developers; the terms seems to often have negative connotations, associated with underhanded dealings.

A jobber is a merchant middleman between producers and retailers. A wholesaler which buys in lots, "jobs", and resells to those who retail to end users.

Labor Crimps
maritime labor brokers; in addition to signing up volunteers and negotiating for deserters, crimps routinely shanghaied "unfree" labor.

"Until 1915 unfree labor was widely used aboard American merchant ships. A person conscripted to such work was said to have been shanghaied when coercive techniques such as trickery, intimidation, or violence were used. Those engaged in this form of kidnapping were known as crimps. The related term press gang refers specifically to impressment practices in the British Royal Navy" -- Wikipedia

Check out this interesting article on the topic: "Down to the Sea in Ships" (The San Francisco Flyer 9/25/97).

Note that Pynchon (Wicks) uses the term "Body-jobbers" on p. 443 to refer to non-naval crimps.

Hanger
A sword similar to a cutlass, used by woodsmen and soldiers in 17th to 18th centuries. From WIKI

crepuscular
twilight; here used figuratively: dim or indistinct

Pleiades
star cluster in Taurus, commonly called the Seven Sisters

Legerdemain
Sleight of hand; "magic" trickery -- Wiktionary

dyspeptic
indigestive

Page 366

Apiary
"a place where bees are kept" -- Wiktionary

Hanger
See page 365.

brumal
"Of, relating to, or occurring in winter ... Here's one of Pynchon's puns: Squire Haligast states 'Tis a brumal night, for behold it sweepeth by' -- Toby Levy's Mason & Dixon 3 Pages a Day Project

gnomic
"mysterious and often incomprehensible yet seemingly wise" -- Wiktionary related to 'enigma'.

'Sandwich'
The immediate cultural precursor with a direct connection to the English sandwich was to be found in the Netherlands of the 17th century, where the naturalist John Ray observed that in the taverns beef hung from the rafters "which they cut into thin slices and eat with bread and butter laying the slices upon the butter"— explanatory specifications that reveal the Dutch belegde broodje was as yet unfamiliar in England... If it was initially perceived as food men shared while gaming and drinking at night, the sandwich slowly began appearing in polite society as a late-night meal among the aristocracy. From WIKI

Armand Allègre
'An arm and a leg' - what something ridiculously expensive is said to cost. Coined in the US, more widely used in the UK.

Page 367

Lord Sandwich
The modern sandwich is possibly named after Lord Sandwich but not invented by him. It is said that he ordered his valet to bring him meat tucked between two pieces of bread. Because Montagu also happened to be the Fourth Earl of Sandwich, others began to order "the same as Sandwich!" However, the exact circumstances of the invention are still the subject of debate. A rumour in a contemporary travel book called Tour to London by Pierre Jean Grosley formed the popular myth that bread and meat sustained Lord Sandwich at the gambling table. The sober alternative is provided by Sandwich's biographer, N. A. M. Rodger, who suggests Sandwich's commitments to the navy, to politics and the arts mean the first sandwich was more likely to have been consumed at his desk. From WIKI - humorous misunderstanding here on Dimdown's part

batterie des couteaux
battery of knives

Eponym
From Wiktionary:

  1. A person whose name has become identified with a particular object or activity.
  2. A word formed from a person’s name, e.g. stentorian after the Greek herald Stentor.

In this case, the Earl of Sandwich, who, like Lord Lepton, was a member of the Hellfire Club.

Jemmy Twitcher
This is a reference to a character in The Beggar's Opera whose betrayal of Macheath is similar to John Montagu's (4th Earl of Sandwich) real-life prosecution of John Wilkes. See page 270. The play ran at Covent Garden soon after the happenings of the trial, therefore became linked together.

Georgie
George III (George William Frederick; 4 June 1738[1] – 29 January 1820 [N.S.]) was King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of these two countries on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death. From WIKI

Jack Bute
John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute KG, PC (25 May 1713 – 10 March 1792), styled Lord Mount Stuart before 1723, was a Scottish nobleman who served as Prime Minister of Great Britain (1762–1763) under George III, and was arguably the last important favourite in British politics... From WIKI - Bute was the tutor and confidante of George III before George III ascended to the throne...

Wilkesite
One sympathetic to John Wilkes

John Wilkes (17 October 1725–26 December 1797) was an English radical, journalist and politician. In the Middlesex election dispute, he fought for the right of voters — rather than the House of Commons — to determine their representatives. In 1771 he was instrumental in obliging the government to concede the right of printers to publish verbatim accounts of parliamentary debates. In 1776 he introduced the first Bill for parliamentary reform in the British Parliament. Wilkes' increasing conservatism as he grew older caused dissatsifaction among radicals and was instrumental in the loss of his Middlesex seat at the 1790 general election. Wilkes then retired from politics and took no part in the growth of radicalism in the 1790s -- From Wikipedia

Wilkes's political enemies obtained this parody of Alexander Pope's "An Essay on Man", and the John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, who was also a member of the Hellfire Club, among those introducing it in the House of Lords. Sandwich had a personal vendetta against Wilkes that stemmed in large part from embarrassment caused by a prank of Wilkes involving the Earl at one of the Hellfire Club's meetings; he was delighted at the chance for revenge. Sandwich read the poem to the House of Lords in an effort to denounce Wilkes's moral behavior, despite the hypocrisy of his action. The Lords declared the poem obscene and blasphemous, and it caused a great scandal. The House of Lords moved to expel Wilkes again; he fled to Paris before any expulsion or trial. He was tried and found guilty in absentia of obscene libel and seditious libel, and was declared an outlaw on 19 January 1764.

John Wilkes, like the Earl of Sandwich and Lord Lepton, a member of the Hellfire Club.

consubstantiate
The union of the "actual, substantial presence of the body of Christ with the bread and wine of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper" (Wiktionary) as opposed to transubstantiate.

Page 368

white Toque
A toque blanche (French for "white hat"), often shortened to toque, is a tall, round, pleated, starched white hat worn by chefs. From WIKI

Lord Affability
Wicks still taking jabs at Mr. Edgewise

Page 369

incipient case of the Green Pip
The green pip is an Old English term for "loss of color" - as in, Mitzi's face has grown extremely pale and getting moreso...

Page 370

Iliad of Inconvenience
Another example of "inconvenience" meaning life, the unplannable details of one's life with others in the world. See Inconvenience in the Alphabetic Index listing for other page references. As well as ATD, of course.

The Iliad (Greek: Ἰλιάς, Iliás) is an epic creation recounting significant events during a portion of the final year of the Trojan War — the Greek siege of the city of Ilion (Troy) — hence the title (“pertaining to Ilion”). In twenty-four scrolls, containing 15,693 lines of dactylic hexameter, it tells the wrathful withdrawal from battle of Achilles, the premiere Greek warrior, after King Agamemnon dishonoured him — an internecine quarrel disastrous to the Greek cause. This poem establishes most of the events (including Achilles’s slaying of Hector) later developed in the Epic Cycle narrative poems recounting the Trojan War events not narrated in the Iliad and the Odyssey. From WIKI

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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