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 6: 47-57 - Thomas Pynchon Wiki | Mason & Dixon

Chapter 6: 47-57

Page 47

Interdiction at sea
Interdiction: Authoritative prohibition
A court order prohibiting a party from doing a certain activity - interdict: a sequential process that includes surveillance of often broad ocean areas

Skanderoon
Iskenderun, Turkish port, eastern Mediterranean.

Loxodrome
Line of constant compass bearing on the surface of the Earth. A parallel of latitude is a loxodrome, but most great-circle arcs are not (the exceptions being the Equator and every meridian). Here, what you might call a bee-line.

Page 48

Caffeinist
Caffeinism is a disorder associated with excessive intake of caffeine, defined as the presence of five or more of the following symptoms: restlessness, nervousness, excitement, insomnia, flushed face, diuresis, gastrointestinal disturbance, muscle twitching, rambling flow of thought and speech, tachycardia or cardiac arrhythmia, and periods of inexhaustibility. Medical Dictionary

new Captain
After fighting the French 32-gun frigate L’Aigrette on 10 January 1761, Captain Charles Cathcart Grant replaced Smith.

Page 49

Jolly Roger
Flag with skull and crossbones, typically flown by pirates. WIKI

Mustard-Grinder
Mustarder: one who dealt in buying and selling mustard. Grinder: one who operates a grinding machine in any of several trades. From Colonial Occupations, online. In the 18th Century, ground mustard flour was known commerically as Durham Mustard [1]. As we know, Jeremiah Dixon hails from Durham.

Page 50

Tenerife
Spanish Island off the coast of Africa. WIKI.

the Lizard
Peninsula of Cornwall, most southerly point of Great Britain. WIKI

Immortality of Ships
The ship wherein Theseus and the youth of Athens returned had thirty oars, and was preserved by the Athenians down even to the time of Demetrius Phalereus, for they took away the old planks as they decayed, putting in new and stronger timber in their place, insomuch that this ship became a standing example among the philosophers, for the logical question as to things that grow; one side holding that the ship remained the same, and the other contending that it was not the same.
--Plutarch's Life of Theseus.

Also see Ship of Theseus. WIKI

masts stepp'd in
Ship construction and ritual. WIKI

preventers
Rope supporting another rope. Modern Shipbuilding Terms

Swifters
A rope used for tightening. Lexic.us

Futtock-Staves
A bar of iron covered with leather or canvas, seized across the topmost shrouds. Probably from foothook. --Webster's New Int'l. Dictionary, 2nd Ed.

Sutton Pool
Plymouth harbor. WIKI

Page 52

final eight bells
Last bell sounded to mark the end of the Last dog watch at 20h00.

Hautboy
Or hautbois, French for oboe (lit. 'high wood').

Page 53

Hearts of Oak
More correctly, 'Heart of Oak', the anthem of the Royal Navy.

cheaply opiated Pint
Yes, opium beer; beer cheaply made much more intoxicating. Perhaps also 'cheap' as in underhand or sneaky. Also found in ATD.

Quantz Etude
Johann Joachim Quantz Wikipedia (January 30, 1697–July 12, 1773) was a German flutist, flute maker and composer.

Quantz began his musical studies as a child with his uncle. He began to concentrate on the flute, performing more and more on the instrument. He gradually became known as the finest flautist in Europe, and toured France and England. He became flute teacher, flute maker and composer to Frederick II of Prussia (Frederick the Great) in 1740. He was an innovator in flute design, adding keys to the instrument to help with intonation (playing in tune), for example.

Although Quantz wrote many pieces of music, mainly for the flute (including around 300 flute concertos), he is best known today as the author of Versuch einer Anweisung die Flöte traversière zu spielen (1752), a treatise on flute playing. It is of great interest today as a source of information on performance practice and flute technique in the 18th century.

Etude
An etude (from the French word étude meaning "study") is a short musical composition designed to provide practice in a particular technical skill in the performance of a solo instrument.

Page 54

Enemas of... Coffee
(Cf AtD)

Slow-Matches
Slow match, or matchcord, is rope impregnated with nitrates to make it burn slowly, evenly, and reliably despite wind or rain. When the trigger was pulled, a lever applied the burning rope to the powder in the priming pan, thus firing the gun. This drawing illustrates a musketeer aiming his gun, with the slow match smouldering at both ends. For the first few hundred years of firearms, this was the only way to shoot them.
From the Slow Match Website.

"Pat... O'Brian... acknowledg'd as the best Yarn-Spinner in all the Fleets."
Patrick O'Brian (died in 2000) was a novelist mostly known for his nautical novels surrounding the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars. WIKI

Page 55

Turk's Head
A knot built on a cylinder (such as a rope) and having a woven appearance on the surface. Used decoratively or to create a grip. Ashley's Book of Knots (published in the 1940s, still in print) describes dozens of forms. "A notable practical use for the Turk's head is to mark the "king spoke" of a ship's wheel; when this spoke is upright the rudder is in a central position" (Wikipedia).

Matthew Walker
A knot tied in the strands of a rope, forming a projection or knob. The Matthew Walker is generally tied in the middle of the rope; the strands are then laid up again to the end. See pix on Wikipedia.

Mr. Higgs's Obsessedness as to Loose Ends
Boatswain (pronounced "bo's'n") Higgs, on the frigate Seahorse is a pun on the "Higgs boson" particle, aka "the God Particle", the existence of which was confirmed on July 10, 2012. As Mr. Higgs is obsessed with loose ends, so too were particle physicists obsessed with finding an instance of the Higgs boson particle which, although theorized in the Standard Model of particle physics, had not, until 2012, been detected. Thus was the loose end of the Higgs boson particle finally tied, although, this being Science, the discovery is not 100% certain. Although the new particle is "consistent with" the Higgs boson, scientists are cautious as to whether it is formally identified as actually being the Higgs boson, pending further analysis.

Jewel Block
Naut.) block at the extremity of a yard, through which the halyard of a studding sail is rove.

Page 56

perfectly beneath us
Astronomy 101 would have to flunk TRP-- anywhere in the Tropics the sun will be overhead on some days. At the Equator, only on the two equinoxes.

It pays to remember that this section is narrated by the Reverend Cherrycoke. He may well be embellishing the story in unrealistic ways for the children's entertainment. I find it unlikely that Pynchon himself would make such a mistake.

Page 57

attendant Inconvenience
Others' wills and preferences which complicate one's fantasies of comeliness and willingness.

Note that Fender-Belly Bodine's ship, the H.M.S. Inconvenience appears again in 2006 in Against the Day.

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