Difference between revisions of "Pages 27-63"

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'''van Dyke'''<br />
'''van Dyke'''<br />
a goatee
a goatee
: More precisely, a goatee and a moustache.
'''rheumy'''<br />
'''rheumy'''<br />
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'''phosphenic migraine'''<br />
'''phosphenic migraine'''<br />
the phenomenon of seeing lights accompanying a migraine
OED, phosphene: n, subjective sensation of light produced by mechanical stimulation of the retina (as by pressure on the eyeball) or by electrical stimulation of various parts of the visual pathway [as from a migraine, -ed]
'''gluteal hyperadiposity'''<br />
'''gluteal hyperadiposity'''<br />
excessive fat in the buttocks
excessive fat in the buttocks; steatopygia [if you like steatopygia, callipygian might interest you]
'''lumbar stressae'''<br />
'''lumbar stressae'''<br />
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'''meatus'''<br />
'''meatus'''<br />
a natural bodily opening
a natural bodily opening, typically leading to the interior of the body, urinary and external auditory being the two most commonly mentioned meati/meatuses
[[Notes and Errata - Pages 983-1079#Endnote_21|Endnote 21]]
[[Notes and Errata - Pages 983-1079#Endnote_21|Endnote 21]]
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'''prolix'''<br />
'''prolix'''<br />
extended to a great, unneedy length
of speech, writing, vocal music, extended to a great, unneedy length

Latest revision as of 19:55, 16 March 2020

Editors: Please keep these annotations SPOILER-FREE by not revealing information from later pages in the novel. And please pay attention to formatting and grammar. Preview your changes before saving them. Thanks!

☽ April 1st, YTMP - Professional Conversationalist

Page 27

tooth decay, leading to a cavity (always used in plural form)

Page 28

"...a regular verb, transitive..."
In English, regular verbs end in -ed (or -d, for infinitives that end in -e) in the past simple or the past participle. An irregular verb does not follow this rule. For example, "implore," a regular verb, is "implored" in the past simple tense. "Fall," an irregular verb, becomes "fell" in the past simple tense.

A transitive verb is able to take a direct object. For example, "I implore you." Intransitive verbs generally necessitate a preposition: "I look at you."

continentally ranked
ranking of players in North America, see, e.g., O.N.A.N.C.A.A.

The act of asking earnestly; begging; making an entreaty.

The abbreviation for "Oxford English Dictionary."

Page 29

Webster's 7th
Webster's Dictionary, 7th edition.



Highly skilled; perfect.

Byzantine erotica
The Byzantine Empire was the continuation of the Roman Empire in the Middle Ages. A cursory google search for "Byzantine Erotica" reveals not very much at all. The topic is either as esoteric as it seems or a DFW invention.


derogatory, disparaging (Hal indicating that the phrase "my reputation preceded me" is generally used in a pejorative sense)

Referring to the reign of the Byzantine emperor Alexander who ruled from 879-913 c.e.

Presumably referring to the reign of Constantine "the Great", Byzantine emperor from 306–337 c.e.

"...intra-provincial crisis..."
A crisis occurring within a province.

racy mosaics
Referring to aforementioned Byzantine Erotica. Mosaics are detailed pictures created with very small pieces of stone.

Page 30

sordid liaison
A distasteful or morally wrong secret sexual relationship.

The professional conversationalist is saying that Luria P----- is both an amanuensis--a secretary who takes dictation--and a secret agent.

lexical prodigy
A child who is exceptionally talented with words.

Marked by unusual, cutting-edge artistic ideas.

Der Spiegel
A German news-weekly magazine, known for investigative journalism; literally, The Mirror.

Wild Turkey

a species of edible fungus. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auricularia_auricula-judae


Ottawan papparazzo
A photo-journalist from Ottawa who seeks out impromptu unauthorized shots of the rich and famous.

a metal-tipped staff used by mountaineers

Originating from Bavaria.

"...ill-swallowed cocktail onion..."
The editor choked on a cocktail onion.

From Alberta.

Admit as possible.

a meeting between lovers; tryst

casually indifferent

sexual pursuits


medical attaches
Here, a medical attache is a specialist who assists a wealthy or powerful person's personal physician.

"...stereochemically not dissimilar..."
similar, based on the spatial arrangement of atoms


Jivaro Indians are native to eastern Ecuador and Peru. They are associated with shrunken heads.

South-Central L.A.
An area of Los Angeles known for extreme crime and violence.

A natural depression in the earth. Used often in geological and anthropological contexts.

breakfast cereal

Page 31

priapistic-entertainment cartridge
priapistic: Persistent, usually painful erection of the penis, especially as a consequence of disease and not related to sexual arousal.

fifth wall
The "fourth wall" is a term used in theater to describe the imaginary wall that separates the stage from the audience. The "fifth wall" could be an extrapolation of this concept, meaning a wall separating an actor from a critic or separating two people sharing the same experience.

likely refers to someone who plays a jew's-harp as evidenced by references to theory of oral lyres on page 30, and as it is a musical instrument similar to a lyre, but played orally.


Adjective meaning either relating to the surgical restoration of a lost or absent part or relating to or characterized by cells that have become less differentiated/primitive.


Neologism probably referring to the removal of the penis


Avril Incandenza's maiden name is revealed to be Mondragon. Also refers to Mondragón, the Spanish name for the Basque town of Arrasate, best known as the home of the Mondragón Cooperative Corporation the world's largest worker cooperative. Note the similarity of the Basque Country and Quebec as presented in IJ.

☽ May 9th, YDAU - Orin calls Hal

Page 32

Sayings; phrases.

"I want to tell you...My head is filled with things to say."
These are the first lines of the Beatles song "I Want to Tell You," written by George Harrison (1943-2001).

"I don't mind...I could wait forever."
more lyrics from "I Want to Tell You," though not the very next ones

Another German name, most famously the nom de guerre of the future mayor of West Berlin and Kanzler of Germany, Willy Brandt, born Herbert Ernst Karl Frahm (1913-1922).

Page 33


Of Saudi Arabia.

diplomatic immunity
Diplomats are granted freedom from prosecution under a host country's laws.

a diplomatic office lower than an embassy

Worships idols instead a God.

Libertine Statue
I.e., the Statue of Liberty, though calling it this implies sexual promiscuity, even if she is wearing a diaper

A French-speaking city in the Canadian province of Quebec.

suitable or well adapted

Rub' al Khali
Arabic for Empty Quarter, another name for the Arabian Desert.

A stage of specialized medical training in a hospital after graduation from medical school.

A group of advisers accompanying an important person; an entourage.

Abbreviation for "ear-nose-throat."

A Swiss-made chocolate bar.

In the 1990 essay "E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction", DFW uses Toblerone to point out that treats are acceptable in small amounts but harmful if consumed in large amounts. "One can only guess at what volume of gin or poundage of Toblerone six hours of Special Treat a day would convert to." (" E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction." A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again. (1997): 37.)

pertaining to or affecting the jaws and face

Candida albicans
the Latin name for a fungus that causes, among other disorders, thrush

intestinal flora
Referring to Candida albacans, one of the microorganisms that lives in the human mouth and intestines.

monilial sinusitis
Inflammation of the nasal sinus caused by fungus of the genus Monila.

A fungal infection caused by (here) Candida albicans. Sort of a yeast infection of the mouth.

Michael Ellis DeBakey (1908-2008) is a world-famous heart surgeon.

ad valorem
Latin: according to the value

Correctly used here. This word means "tending to cause nausea." If one has nausea, they are "nauseated."



splendid; expensive

Page 34

a suburb about 19 miles east-northeast of Phoenix

a mystic strain of Islam

Pir Valayat
Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan (1916-2004) was a British-born Sufi.

Arabic for marijuana in leaf form, as opposed to hashish

An Arabic term akin to the Jewish kosher, this means that food has been prepared in accordance with Islamic law.

Back Bay Hilton
This is a real hotel, with a Web site here.

an anti-fungal drug

A styptic is a chemical that stops bleeding. The word has very many spellings. This spelling is not in the top ten in the OED. Styptic is much more common.

make widely known

a small pointed beard.


molecularly similar to silk

repetitive in simple terms, but used in many more detailed ways in mathematics, logic, linguistics, and computer science, all fields in which DFW was very well-versed indeed. The OED and other sources will inform.


showing regret for having done wrong

Page 35

a term for death of bodily tissue

Page 36

a three-part art display

Organization of North American Nations Medical Assocation

actinomycete-class antibiotics
antibiotics derived from Gram-positive bacteria called actinobacteria, which bacteria are among the oldest and smallest free living organisms.

CBC is the Canadian Broadcasting Company. PATHÉ is probably the French entertainment company Pathé Frères (Pathé Brothers).

Arabic for "people". Referring to a fictional Arabic version of "People Magazine"

YTSDB - Wardine & Roy Tony

Page 37

double dutch
a type of rope jumping where two ropes are used

Page 38

Brighton Projects
presumably high-rise, low-income housing in Brighton

Shedd Spread
a brand of margarine

A wraith is a type of ghost.

Page 39

nocturnal emitter
a boy who has a wet dream

full of twists and turns

☽ YDAU - Mario and Hal talk before sleep

Page 39

Page 40

unreasonably irritable

Page 41

The title of an opera by Italian composer Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini (1858-1924), which premiered in 1900.

Page 42

suffering from an irrational fear of going outside

This is "a strong grating, as of iron, made to slide along vertical grooves at the sides of a gateway of a fortified place and let down to prevent passage" (Random House Unabridged Dictionary).

Page 42

2010h. on 1 April
The medical attaché has been watching for forty-three minutes.

Page 42


October, YDAU - Orin in Phoenix, AZ

Page 43

a real perfume

Ambush: To attack from a concealed position. Orin's fear of commitment, fear that the "subject" is trying to entrap him i.e marriage.

Home with the team
It's already been mentioned that Orin plays professional football. He must play for the Arizona Cardinals.

Page 44

Blattaria implacblus
Blattaria is the order that contains the several genus and species of cockroaches. The Latin phrase really means "implacable cockroach."

Page 45

A state of fidgetiness, uneasiness, or unreasonableness; nervous depression or apprehension; "the fidgets;" "the creeps;" "the willies." See online dictionary here

an eastern suburb of New Orleans

Page 46

cured herring

Mrs. Avril M. T. Incandenza
Hal's mother is named for the first time.

Remove "-ish" and you have the English word for tefillin. More directly: phylactery, either of two small square leather boxes containing slips inscribed with scriptural passages and traditionally worn on the left arm and on the head by observant Jewish men and especially adherents of Orthodox Judaism during morning weekday prayers (from Webster's)

sanction or approval

Page 48

Positron-Emission Tomography
According to Wikipedia, this is "a nuclear medicine medical imaging technique that produces a three-dimensional image or map of functional processes in the body."

the sub-atomic particles that are the opposite in charge to but identical in mass of electrons

Fritz Lang
Friedrich Christian Anton "Fritz" Lang (1890-1976) was a Viennese-born Austrian-American director. His science fiction film Metropolis (1927) presents a dystopian future where people are oppressed by technology.

Moment magazine
This is a Jewish-interest magazine.

Page 49

Pandora's box of worms
a mixed metaphor of "Pandora's box" and "can of worms," neither of which can be shut again once they're opened

shaving upward
the wrong way, that is to say in a direction opposite to that of the growth of the hairs

☽ YDAU - Hal getting covertly high

Page 49

a small marijuana pipe that will provide one "hit" of marijuana per packing

Page 50

Partridge, KS
A town in Kansas about 55 miles north-northwest of Wichita

Charles Tavis
I.e., C.T.

the digestive organ of a bird

Page 51

Bob Hope
Cockney rhyming slang for "dope"

modern-day architecture that approximates that of the Georgian period, from 1714 (accession of George I of the U.K.) to 1830 (death of George III)

Endnote 3

Page 51 (cont'd)

Another neologism, presumably meaning having characteristics of both a sphere and cube -- a three-dimensional "squircle".

A homonym of Lethe, the name of the river in Greek mythology whose water, if drunk, will erase one's memory. In keeping with the optics theme, Emmett Leith was an inventor in the field of holography. Walt Disney, of course, was a well known film producer and director.

Dr. James O. Incandenza
Hal's father's full name is given for the first time.


A form of plasterwork shown to the right, usually accomplished by the application of mortar or plaster over an external brick wall.

Page 52

This substance does not actually exist. An educated guess is that it is a type of polyurethane that comes from trees, dendri being Greek for "tree."

twenty meters
almost twenty-two yards

having no windows

two meter
a little over 6.5 ft

In Irish mythology, the banshee is female spirit, who acts as an omen of death. They are known for "keening," i.e., shrieking.

a plate or ring to form a rim at the end of a pipe when fastened to the pipe

Page 53

after the latency period that Freud posited in his four-stage theory of psychosexual development in children

Endnote 5

Endnote 5a

Endnote 6

Endnote 7

Page 53 (cont'd)

Endnote 8

Endnote 8a

mushrooms or X
psilocybin mushrooms or MDMA (called ecstasy)

Page 53 (cont'd)

Interdependent regions
I.e., Canada

members of a management body of a university, each managing his/her specific area

the Show
professional tennis

Page 54

a brand of chewing tobacco

to shrink back in fear

Page 54


The medical attaché has now been watching for four hours and fifty-three minutes.

Mario's designated function around ETA

Page 54

having to do with motion pictures

Page 55

Autumn, YDPAH - Gately's crime

Page 55

Endnote 12a

enthusiastic vigor or liveliness

Revere Holding
a jail, obviously -- probably the jail for Revere, Mass., just north of Boston

public defender

Endnote 13

Page 55 (cont'd)

a maxim or saying

Page 56

The Boston Globe. The main daily newspaper of Boston, MA.

A town in Essex County, Mass., home to a yachting resort. It's about 15 miles northeast of the city on the water.

Page 57

Endnote 17

International Affairs and Interdependent Affairs
The first magazine is real; the second is not.

teak chiffonier
a piece of furniture, one of which you can see here

the mountainous region in the westernmost portion of Massachusetts, a popular vacation spot

sounding as if the nose were pinched due to enlarged lymphatic tissue in the throat behind the uvula

van Dyke
a goatee

More precisely, a goatee and a moustache.

watery and unhealthy

losses of syllables from words, particularly of end-syllables containing unstressed vowels, e.g., the process that renders "information" into "info."

M. Café-brand Automatic Café-au-Lait maker
half coffee and half milk in a large cup, as drunk in France. M. Café as in 'Mr. Coffee".

gangrenously tight
so tight as to cause gangrene, i.e., death of tissue caused by toxic bacteria that can only grow in tissue deprived of blood flow, typically C. perfringens.

Page 58


pre-British-takeover Québecois
The British took over Quebec on September 8, 1760.

passerine birds native to North America, genus Quiscula

Page 59

Endnote 19

pertaining to the ribs or the muscles around them

Montreal Tulip Fest
The Canadian Tulip Festival actually takes place in Ottawa, Ontario, and Gatineau, Quebec, which border each other.

Guillaume DuPlessis
A man by this name was one of the first French Calvinist settlers on the island of St. Kitts in the 17th century.

250 clicks due east
Clicks are kilometers. Two hundred fifty km is about 155 miles.

the change of color in skin brought on by livor mortis, an after-death phenomenon when blood settles in the body at low points of gravity. Amplification: the substantive of the adjective livid, a curious word that can mean dusky grayish purple (in medical connoctations) or ashy pale (in the context of anger)

French: As is necessary

Page 60

Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment

I don't know what the numbers mean, but the first is half of the second. [He might be riffing on the powers of two expressed in base ten notation, but instead of 256 (2^8), he has started with 233, a prime number. At the time the book was written, such numbers were commonly encountered in the names of computer hardware, the context here.]

reduced instruction set computer, i.e., a computer that takes a limited set of commands

Footnote 95 (to p. 284) reads "Pink being Microsoft Inc.'s first post-Windows DOS, quickly upgraded to Pink2 when InterLace took everything 100 % interactive and digital; by Y.D.A.U. it's kind of a dinosaur, but it's still the only DOS that'll run a MathpakVEndStat tree without having to stop and recompile every few seconds."

a direct broadcast satellite network active in the 1990s

digital satellite system

smooth and not pixelated

a unit equal to bits per second; a baud rate is the number of bits per second a modem can send/receive

French for "fashion"

very small processors -- smaller than microprocessors

Here misspelled, chromatography is "any of various techniques for the separation of complex mixtures that rely on the differential affinities of substances for a gas or liquid mobile medium and for a stationary adsorbing medium through which they pass, such as paper, gelatin, or magnesia" (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language).

carpal neuralgia
nerve pain in the hand, usually resulting from compression of the median nerve in the so-called carpal tunnel

phosphenic migraine
OED, phosphene: n, subjective sensation of light produced by mechanical stimulation of the retina (as by pressure on the eyeball) or by electrical stimulation of various parts of the visual pathway [as from a migraine, -ed]

gluteal hyperadiposity
excessive fat in the buttocks; steatopygia [if you like steatopygia, callipygian might interest you]

lumbar stressae
back stress

November 3rd, YDAU - Troeltsch's illness

Page 60

Jim Troeltsch
The most famous person with this surname is Ernst Troeltsch (1865-1923), a German Protestant theologian and philosopher of religion and history.

Narberth PA
A wealthy, 1 square-mile borough west of Philadelphia and part of the larger "Main Line" suburban area running from Philadelphia to Malvern.

a natural bodily opening, typically leading to the interior of the body, urinary and external auditory being the two most commonly mentioned meati/meatuses

Endnote 21

over the counter

drugs that induce phlegm-producing coughing

cough suppressants

a combination of mega + span + capsule, these would be large, time-released capsules

Endnote 22

mucoid dessicators
drugs that dry up phlegm

Page 60 (cont'd)

If the name is pronounced with a "long a," as in the Oakland football team, a famous person with this last name was Erich Johann Albert Raeder (1876-1960), a World War II-era German grand admiral, sentenced to life at Nuremberg but served only nine years.

Page 61

something that turns a liquid into a spray

According to Wikipedia, a fugue state is "a state of mind characterized by abandonment of personal identity, along with the memories, personality and other identifying characteristics of individuality."

of speech, writing, vocal music, extended to a great, unneedy length


Page 61

Wallace's plural for rhinovirus, one of dozens of variations of the virus that causes the common cold, also rhinoviruses

An absorptive/secretive tissue layer in the body; here, in Troeltsch's throat or nose

Page 62

as an adjective, having a dull or lusterless finish

mouldings that cover joints

Snuff is grayish to yellowish brown in color; snuff-white must be that color, but lighter.

narrow, flat moldings

continuously variable electronic resistors

part of the leg between the knee and ankle

Page 63

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