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xml:lang="en" lang="en" dir="ltr"> Chapter 66: 633-645 - Thomas Pynchon Wiki | Mason & Dixon

Chapter 66: 633-645

Page 633

Watteau
Jean-Antoine Watteau (October 10, 1684 – July 18, 1721) was a French painter whose brief career spurred the revival of interest in colour and movement (in the tradition of Correggio and Rubens), and revitalized the waning Baroque idiom, which eventually became known as Rococo. He is credited with inventing the genre of fêtes galantes: scenes of bucolic and idyllic charm, suffused with an air of theatricality. Some of his best known subjects were drawn from the world of Italian comedy and ballet... Watteau's influence on the arts (not only painting, but the decorative arts, costume, film, poetry, music) was more extensive than that of almost any other 18th-century artist. According to the 1911 Britannica, "in his treatment of the landscape background and of the atmospheric surroundings of the figures can be found the germs of Impressionism". The Watteau dress, a long, sacklike dress with loose pleats hanging from the shoulder at the back, similar to those worn by many of the women in his paintings, is named after him. From WIKI

"To Thorfinn Karlsefni's settlement at Hop... None but Gudrid ever saw the woman"
The excerpt comes almost word by word from Grœnlendinga saga or The saga of the Greenlanders (Wikipedia entry), which, along with the Saga of Erik the Red, are the two main literary sources of information for the Norse exploration of North America.

Vineland
Vinland was the name given to an area of North America by the Norseman, about the year 1000 CE. From WIKI- Also, see page 322 of Vineland.

Skrællings
Skræling (plural skrælingar) is the name the Norse Greenlanders used for the Thule people whom they encountered in Greenland. When they traveled to present-day Newfoundland ("Vinland"), the Norse used the same term for the inhabitants (possibly the ancestors of the later Beothuk) of North America. From WIKI

Gudrid... Snorri
She stayed on ther home island but moved to Brattahlíð, where she married a merchant named Thorfinn Karlsefni (Þorfinnr Karlsefni Þórðarson). She and her new husband had a son named Snorri Þorfinnsson, who was the first child born in North America of European descent. Shortly after Snorri was born the small family traveled back to Greenland. After a while her husband died and his farm was inherited by Snorri. From WIKI

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this first Act of American murder, and the collapse of Vineland the Good
Cf. Vineland, of course. Especially echoes the scene on page 322, where Zoyd is planning to "harbor in Vineland, Vineland the Good".

Vineland was the name given to North America by the Vikings. It was named so because of the wild grapes they found there... With the abandonment of Greenland, needed supplies no longer made their way to the way station point in North America (Vineland). Major climate change has happened since. They had 'conflicts' with the Native Americans who lived there, perhaps the first acts of American murder? The conflict was probably short-lived while the commerce went on for 500 years. Adapted from 'Vineland' [[1]]

Helgi and Finnbogi
Helgi and Finnbogi were two merchant brothers from Iceland, born in the late tenth century A.D. The Saga of the Greenlanders describes them as coming to Greenland one summer. There they negotiated a deal with Freydis Eiriksdottir, agreeing to share the profits of a voyage to newly-discovered Vinland. Each agreed to take 30 crewmembers, but Freydis secretly took more. In Vinland, there was tension between the two groups. Helgi and Finnbogi set up a settlement separate from Freydis and her crew. Freydis eventually went to the brothers' hut and asked how they were faring. "Well," responded the brothers, "but we do not like this ill-feeling that has sprung up between us." The two sides made peace. Freydis, once outside, beat herself so that it would appear as if she had been ill-treated. When she returned to her husband, he asked who had beaten her. Freydis claimed Helgi and Finnbogi were the culprits, and, calling him a coward, demanded that he extract revenge on her behalf, or else she would divorce him. He gathered his men and killed Helgi and Finnbogi, as well as the men in their camp. When he refused to kill the women, Freydis herself picked up an axe and massacred them. When she returned to Greenland, she told her brother Leif Eiriksson that Helgi and Finnbogi had decided to stay in Vinland. From WIKI

Thorstein the Swarthy
Thorstein Eriksson resolves to go to Vinland for the body of his brother. The same ship is prepared yet again and Thorstein sets sail with a crew of 25 and his wife Gudrid (ON: Guðríðr). The expedition never reaches Vinland and after driving about the whole summer the ship ends up back at the coast of Greenland. During the winter, Thorstein falls ill and dies but speaks out of his dead body and tells the fortune of his wife Gudrid, predicting a long and prosperous life for her. From WIKI

Biarni Heriulfsson
Bjarni is believed to be the first European to see North America. The Grœnlendinga saga ('Greenlanders Saga') tells that he was sailing from Iceland to visit his parents as usual, except he came home and his father had gone with Eric the Red to Greenland. So he took his crew and set off to find him. But in that summer of 985 or 986, Bjarni was blown off course by a storm with no map or compass. He saw a piece of land that was not Greenland. It was covered with trees and mountains and although his crew begged him to, he refused to stop and look around. Since no one in his crew had been to Greenland before, they had to search for it. Although he managed to regain his course, he reported seeing low-lying hills covered with forests some distance farther to the west. The land looked hospitable, but Bjarni was eager to reach Greenland to see his parents and did not land and explore the new lands. He reported his findings both in Greenland and in Norway, but no one at the time seems to have shown interest in them. From WIKI

Firths and Fjords
Firth is the word in the Lowland Scots language used to denote various coastal waters in Scotland. In mainland Scotland it is used to describe a large sea bay, or even a strait. In the Northern Isles it more usually refers to a smaller inlet. It is linguistically cognate to fjord (both from Proto-Germanic *ferþuz) which has a more constrained sense in English; a firth would most likely be called a fjord if it were situated in Scandinavia. Bodies of water named "firths" tend to be more common on the east coast, or in the southwest of the country, although the Firth of Lorn is an exception to this. The Highland coast contains numerous estuaries, straits and inlets of a similar kind, not called "firth", e.g. the Minch, and Loch Torridon; these are often called sea lochs. From WIKI

Geologically, a fjord is a long, narrow inlet with steep sides, created in a valley carved by glacial activity. From WIKI

Escombe
Escomb is a village in County Durham, England. It is situated approximately 2.5km to the west of Bishop Auckland. Escomb Church, one of the oldest Saxon churches in England, is located here. The church was built using stones transported up the river wear from the near by Roman Settlement. Evidence of this is the complete Roman Arch that separates the transept from the nave. The exterior of the church also includes a Saxon sundial. The church was allowed to fall into disrepair until the 1960s when its true worth was rediscovered and the church was restored. From WIKI

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White Women
See this LINK

Black Dogs
See page 494.

the Presence itself
Divine presence, presence of God, or simply presence is a concept in religion, spirituality, and theology that deals with God's omnipotent abilities to be "present" with human beings. God is understood to be capable of interfacing with the natural world, and more importantly, with human being, such that He would be able to hold some influence with each and all human being(s). From WIKI

Page 636

Sir William Johnson
See page 532.

Six Nations
See page 513.

German Flat
German Flatts is a town in Herkimer County, New York, United States. See this LINK for more info.

Mohawk
The Village of Mohawk is at the north border of the Town of German Flatts and adjacent to the Erie Canal. Mohawk is southeast of Utica. Mohawk was originally settled by Palatine Germans after 1722. In 1725, the Queen of England and Governor Burnet granted Mohawk to the Palatine Germans in what was known as the Burnetsfield Patent. George Washington was known to stop in Mohawk to have lunch at the Shoemaker Tavern on his way to and from Fort Stanwix in Rome, NY. From WIKI

Whist
See page 327.

Cobra-Brain Pearl
See page 550.

travel to Florida and be one of the founders of a sort of Jesuit Pleasure-Garden, of Dimensions unlimited by neighboring Parcels, tho' the Topick of Alligators has so far adroitly remain'd unaddress'd....
It seems that Zhang's Cobra-Brain Pearl has brought about P. Zarpazo's (Wolf of Jesus) chance at becoming one of the founders of Disney World (and Epcot), however, with a nice bit of intrigue here, it seems Zarpazo's journey is actually a skillfully set trap. Also, note the "Dimensions unlimited", which brings to mind - like the Conveyance that carried Wicks, Lepton Castle, the Cavern that is used as a Church - those spaces that have much more room on the Inside than one would expect from the Outside.

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"How is the Duck?" "The Duck is excellent."
Armand starts to answer as if the question were asked by a restaurant patron perusing a menu.

"But, Time, surely... Stream of Time as she likes?"
The Redzingers' speculations suggest that the Duck has traveled to different worlds, if we accept the Special Theory of Relativity posited by Einstein. According to the theory, the only conceivable circumstances in which time dilation could be so pronounced would be if the Duck were either traveling at light speed (perhaps for the purpose of interstellar travel?) or leaving spacetime as we know it. For more on this check out this WIKI


Cumberland
Cumberland is a city in the far western portion of Maryland, United States... Cumberland, Maryland is named after the son of King George II, Prince William, the Duke of Cumberland. It is built on the site of the old Fort Cumberland, the starting point for British General Edward Braddock's ill-fated attack on the French strong-hold of Fort Duquesne (located on the site of present-day Pittsburgh) during the French and Indian War. (See Braddock expedition.) Cumberland was also an outpost of Colonel George Washington during the French and Indian War and his first military headquarters was built here... Cumberland was a key road, railroad and canal junction during the 1800s and at one time the second largest city in Maryland (second to the port city of Baltimore—hence its nickname "The Queen City"). The surrounding hillsides provided coal, iron ore, and timber... From WIKI

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Thomas Cresap
See page 277.

Old Smith... Mr. Sam Smith
Sheriff Samuel Smith of Lancaster County brought a posse to arrest Cresap, but when deputy Knowles Daunt was at the door, Cresap fired through it, wounding Daunt. The sheriff asked Mrs. Cresap for a candle, so that they could see to tend to Daunt's wounds, but Mrs. Cresap refused, "crying out that not only was she glad he had been hit, she would have preferred the wound had been to his heart." When Daunt died, Pennsylvania Governor Gordon demanded that Maryland arrest Cresap for murder. Governor Ogle of Maryland responded by naming Cresap a captain in the Maryland militia. Cresap continued his raids, destroying barns and livestock, until Sheriff Samuel Smith raised a posse of 24 armed "non-Quakers" to arrest him on November 25, 1736. Unable to get him to surrender, they set his cabin on fire, and when he made a run for the river, they were upon him before he could launch a boat. He shoved one of his captors overboard, and cried, "Cresap's getting away", and the other deputies pummeled their peer with oars until the ruse was discovered. Removed to Lancaster, a blacksmith was fetched to put him in steel manacles, but Cresap knocked the blacksmith down in one blow. Once constrained in steel, he was hauled off to Philadelphia, and paraded through the streets before being imprisoned. His spirit unbroken, he announced, "Damn it, this is one of the prettiest towns in Maryland!" From WIKI

Page 640

hale
Sound, entire, healthy; robust, not impaired. From WIKI - Usually used in regard to an older person.

Page 641

Monseer's Privateers
French Pirates, see more at WIKI.

Shelby
See page 499.

Michael's batch
Michael Cresap (April 17, 1742 – October 18, 1775) was a frontiersman born in Maryland. He spent part of his adult years in the Ohio Country as a trader and land developer. He led several raids against Indians whom he believed were hostile to white settlement. Logan of the Mingo Indians accused Cresap of murdering his family. In fact, the killings were almost certainly perpetrated by Daniel Greathouse, yet Cresap was immortalized in Logan's speech (quoted in Thomas Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia) as the murderer of Logan's family. From WIKI

Nemacolin
A Native American who helped white settlers with the surveying of what is now Route 40. Also, see this LINK, as well as this link to WIKI for Nemacolin's Trail.

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"Why am I doing this?"
See page 347.

Stoick
See page 30.

Pit-Pony
A pit pony was a type of pony commonly used underground in coal mines from the mid 18th up until the mid 20th century. From WIKI

Revetments
A revetment is defined as a "retaining wall constructed to support the interior slope of a parapet. Made of logs, wood planks, fence rails, fascines, gabions, hurdles, sods, or stones, the revetment provided additional protection from enemy fire, and, most importantly, kept the interior slope nearly vertical. Stone revetments commonly survive." From WIKI

Mantua-makers
See page 308.

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chuck-farthing games
A version of the game called Chuck-Farthing was played in Britain. Mentions of the game date back to the 18th century. The rules of the game were described in the 19th century as follows: Each competitor starts with the same number of coins. They pitch their coins one at a time from a mark at a given distance towards a hole in the ground. The competitors are ranked based on how close they come to the hole. The competitor closest to the hole receives all of the coins and proceeds to a second mark nearer to the hole, from which he throws all of the coins at once towards the hole. All of the coins that remain in the hole are his to keep. The remainder of the coins are given to the next closest competitor, and the process is repeated until no coins remain. From WIKI

whose horses in a former life were humans who traffick'd in Land
???

Dogs run free
Possible allusion to Bob Dylan's 1970 song, "If Dogs Run Free" (from New Morning)?

Black Dog
See page 494.

Wolf's Commandments
I think this is a reference to the Tribe of Benjamin, see WIKI. Also, see Genesis 49:27.

Fort
Fort Cumberland, 1755

Fort Cumberland was constructed by troops of General Braddock at the confluence of Wills Creek and the Potomac River, at the current location of the City of Cumberland, Maryland. The wood palisade fort is now gone, and occupying the site is the existing Emmanuel Episcopal Church, but the old fort tunnels still remain underneath. This fort once marked the westernmost outpost of the British Empire in America, and was the jumping-off point for General Braddock's disastrous expedition against the French at Fort Duquesne. When Braddock was killed, a young officer of Virginia militia, George Washington, lead the troops back to Fort Cumberland. The Fort was later abandoned, and the army and militia withdrew eastward. From WIKI

Snake... a Ratter
They are the smallest of the working Terriers. They are active and compact, free moving, with good substance and bone. Good substance means good spring of rib and bone that matches the body such that the dog can be a very agile ratter, the function for which it was bred. From WIKI

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Learnéd English Dog
See page 18.

credulous
Excessively ready to believe things; gullible. From WIKI

Queues du Rat aux Haricots
Rat Tail with Haricot Beans

Emetick
An agent that induces vomiting. From WIKI

Glacis
A gentle incline, especially one in front of a fortification. From WIKI

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an unopen'd Goober Pea-Shell, exhibiting it to both Astronomers before cracking it open to reveal two red Pea-Nuts within...
Mason and Dixon, two peas in a pod, maybe?

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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