Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /var/www/vhosts/pynchonwiki.com/httpdocs/wiki/old-skins/skinMasonDixon/MonoBook.php on line 58
xml:lang="en" lang="en" dir="ltr"> Chapter 44: 440-447 - Thomas Pynchon Wiki | Mason & Dixon

Chapter 44: 440-447

Page 440

Ley-lines
The term "ley lines" was coined by Alfred Watkins when explaining his theory that ancient sites around Britain had actually been constructed or formed giving alignments between and across the inhabited landscape of Britain. The sites mentioned include Stone Circles, Standing Stones, Long Barrows, Cairns, Burial Mounds and Churches -- MORE; Wikipedia entry; Also, see page 218.

Avebury Pilgrims
Avebury is the site of a large henge and several stone circles surrounding the village of Avebury in the English county of Wiltshire. It is one of the finest and largest Neolithic monuments in Europe, about 5,000 years old. Although older than the megalithic stages of Stonehenge 32 kilometres (20 mi) to the south, the two monuments are broadly contemporary overall. Avebury is roughly midway between the towns of Marlborough and Calne, just off the main A4 road on the northbound A4361 towards Wroughton... Avebury is seen as a spiritual centre by many who profess beliefs such as Paganism, Wicca, and Druidry; for some it is regarded more highly than Stonehenge. The pagan festivals all attract visitors, and the summer solstice especially draws increasingly large crowds. Avebury is said to stand on the St Michael ley line, an alignment that is said to run across England from Cornwall to East Anglia. From WIKI

Oölite
"(geology) a deposit of spherical grains within a mineral cortex accreted around a nucleus, often of quartz grains" -- Wiktionary

"I'm confused here as to how limestone can be used to make prisms, since all the limestone I have ever climbed up has been opaque. Is there transparent oölite? Or are the egg-stones a plant." -- Dinn's Notes on the Pynchon-L

Perhaps the uses of Oölite are more focused on the meaning of "Egg Stone" - it being the first marker, and the beginning of the Line, versus its having to do with limestone? It just seems that it is mainly described as being Rose Quartz...

Master-valve of rose Quartz
"Master-valve" -- interesting choice of words! Generally speaking, a "valve" is a device (esp. a flap or hinge) that opens one line while closing another, generally to control flow.

See pages 334 & 441.

Any Argument from Design, here, must include a yearning for Flight
"Argument from design for the existence of God, that is, proved by the simplicity and orderliness of his thereby presumed Creation. A GR theme and a poke at rationalism, which, the more it succeeds in reducing complexity to order, the more it emphasisies (sic) the presence of design, or is that Design, a terribly loaded word for we paranoid." -- Dinn's Notes on the Pynchon-L

March
1765

Azimuth

  1. An arc of the horizon intercepted between the meridian of the place and a vertical circle passing through the center of any object; as, the azimuth of a star; the azimuth or bearing of a line surveying.
  2. The quadrant of an azimuth circle.

-- Wiktionary

Page 441

strike
Consider some multiple meanings of "strike" (v.) (all quotes from the OED):

  • "To bring (an arc) into being"
  • "To make one's way, go"
  • "Of a serpent or other venomous animal: To wound (a person) with its fangs or sting"
  • "To mark with lines, draw a line"
  • "To mark, stigmatize"
  • "To deal a blow, to smite"
  • "To imprint on the mind"
  • "to produce a flame with flint and steel or by the friction of a match"
  • "To produce (music, a sound, note) by touching a string or playing upon an instrument"; "Of a clock: To make one or more strokes on its sounding part"
  • "To kill or wound (deer) with an arrow or spear"; "To hit with a missile, a shot, etc"
  • "To lance or cut (a vein)"
  • "Of lightning, thunder, a thunderbolt: To descend violently upon and blast"; "To send out or forth (a beam of light)"
  • "said of a moving shadow"
  • "Of a thought, an idea: To come into the mind of, occur to (a person)"
  • "To agree (to articles or terms)"
  • "of an electric charge, to pass as a spark"

Ev'rything upon the Ground, by April, as they're about to begin the West Line, must be sighted thro' a haze of green Resurrection.
"Wow! remember that radar screen in GR with its `green return' (also the superhighways of July song with spring's green return). 'green resurrection links the cycle of the seasons back to Christ's cycle of suffering, which suggests Wicks is well aware of Christianity's pagan roots, at the psychological and historical level at least, if not necessarily theological and spiritual. But there is also a hint in 'Resurrection' at America, the New World being an Eden of - or was that for? - the Redeemed. Unlike the corrupt, fallen Old Worlds further East. Depending on which way you read it the New World is either virgin land ripe for corruption or a second chance from a loving creator. Which recalls the opinion expressed by Pynchon's narrator at GR 720 of 'we, the crippled keepers, [...] God's spoilers. Us. Counter-revolutionaries. It is our mission to promote death.' a chillingly beautiful passage leading up to and beyond the judgement at GR 722.22 `America *was* the edge of the World. ... In Africa, Asia, Amerindia, Oceania, Europe came and established its order of Analysis and Death.' Does Pynchon still believe this in M&D or does he believe there is life in America's old corpse still?" -- Dinn's Notes on the Pynchon-L

Over Susquehanna,-- once you've cross'd the York to Baltimore Road,-- you'll see.
"The Visto will cross Susquehanna about 20 miles West of the Tangent Line, the York-Baltimore road at 40 miles West. York and Lancaster, counties and cities, are mirror images, either side of Susquehanna, though, disconcertingly, York is West of Lancaster. York is 15 miles N of the Visto, Baltimor 20 miles South on the knee bend half way down Chesapeake Bay. The crossing point on the York-Baltimore Road is at towns called New Freedom on the Pennsylvania side, Maryland Line on the Maryland side. Anyone who can furnish relevant slavery/Civil War explanations for the names? This must be a notable border checkpoint since it would likely have been a main trade route for Pennsylvanians West of Susquehannah, the river running too fast for easy ferrying of goods across to Philadelphia." -- Dinn's Notes on the Pynchon-L

"and he ain't just hummin' 'Love in a Cottage,' either"
"First encountered in London as a show Mason wished he had not caught, no? cf MDMD(10) [page] 292.18" -- Dinn's Notes on the Pynchon-L - See page 292

Not to mention the obvious joak: "you ain't just whistlin' Dixie!"

I lit East
As with "strike" (see above) note that "lit" has connotations with light and fuses, an physical (as in physics) reaction that a human initiates.

cry in the right Uncle's ale-can
"Tell my sad story to a helpful 'sugar-daddy'", in more current parlance.

fifty-weight of Harness
Boggs is presumably a hostler or wagon-driver for the Party.

the chunk of Rose Quartz
See pages 334 & 441.

the West Line ... will finally refer ... preparing for the Translation south
"refer" and "Translation" paint a different image than "strike" and "lit" above, although all four words describe interaction with the lines. Why the difference? Note that "strike" and "lit" describe human movement along the lines, while "refer" and "Translation" seem to describe the interaction of lines with lines and points and mathematics.

Page 442

Swifts come out
The swifts are a family, Apodidae, of highly aerial birds. They are superficially similar to swallows but are actually not closely related to thorre passerine species at all; swifts are in the separate order Apodiformes, which they share with the hummingbirds. The treeswifts are closely releted to the true swifts, but form a separate family, the Hemiprocnidae. From WIKI

scry
"To predict the future using crystal balls." -- Wiktionary

heptagon
(geometry) A polygon with seven sides and seven angles." -- Wiktionary

I believe this is the first appearance of a seven-sided object, but note that several octagonal shapes have appeared, including a couple of deadly devices (the Octuple Gloucester--a big cheese--on page 137 and "The octagonal Barrel" of the rifle that M&D consider swapping for a Tub on p. 428) as well as the Octagon Room on page 437.

line of work
Speaking of scrying...

Mr. Franklin's Armonica
Musical instrument consisting of a set of graduated and tuned glass bowls sounded by the friction of wet fingers on the rims. It was invented by Benjamin Franklin in 1761. His "armonica" consisted of hemispherical glasses suspended on atreadle-operated spindle, overlapping so that only their rims were visible. A trough of water beneath the glasses moistened them as they rotated through it. It spanned four octaves. Mozart composed Adagio und Rondo K 617 and Adagio für Harmonika K 356 for the instrument. Beethoven also composed for it, as well as others; Wikipedia entry. See page 268.

light of the Sun, and whatever Medium bears it to us
The luminiferous aether, the medium through which it was thought, at the end of the 19th century, light propogated. The idea of such a medium was eventually done away with as a result of Einstein's special theory of relativity.

Page 443

Crimp
One who decoys or entraps men into the military or naval service. From WIKI

Body-jobber
Pynchon having more playful fun with the job title of "jobber." Cf. Land Jobbers and Labor Crimps (naval Body-jobbers), both on p. 365, and Love-Jobbers, p. 427.

Parts of a single great Machine
Tell it to John Henry! Humorous, but dehumanizing the human traffic brings slavery to mind.

"Developer," or Projector of Land-Schemes
Wicks (Pynchon?) seems to hold Land Jobbers (p. 427) in nearly as high esteem as lawyers.

Page 444

sailing from Spithead
Fairly smooth sailing: Spithead is an area of the Solent and a roadstead off Gilkicker Point in Hampshire, England. It is protected from all winds, except those from the southeast. It receives its name from the Spit, a sandbank stretching south from the Hampshire shore for 5 km (3 miles); and it is 22.5 km (14 miles) long by about 6.5 km (4 miles) in average breadth. From WIKI

I believe that this is also a reference to the incident near the beginning of the book where they are almost killed by the French -- doesn't their ship leave from here?

in perfect Enfilade
A formation or position is "in enfilade" if weapons fire can be directed along its longest axis. For instance, a trench is enfiladed if the opponent can fire down the length of the trench. A column of marching troops is enfiladed if fired on from the front or rear such that the projectiles travel the length of the column. A rank or line of advancing troops is enfiladed if fired on from the side (flank). From WIKI

Page 445

kine
Cows, pronounced kʌɪn.

Little Christiana
The Christina River is a tributary of the Delaware River, approximately 35 miles (56 km) long, in northern Delaware in the United States, also flowing through small areas of southeastern Pennsylvania and northeastern Maryland. Near its mouth the river flows past downtown Wilmington, Delaware, forming the city's harbor for traffic on the Delaware River. From WIKI

Like your Mother's Pussy
From here to the end of the page, they start telling "yo mama" jokes, which also appear in Inherent Vice (pg. 155) and Against the Day (pg. 12).

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

Personal tools