A Frolic of His
Roe v Wade: an
epochal Supreme Court decision on abortion rights, 410 U.S. 113
410 U.S. 113
156.14 (176.8) 'must a man be scourged then, and racked, have his eyes burnt out and then be set up on a pole': Plato, Republic 2:361e. [PF]
EREBUS ENTERTAINMENT, Inc., Ben B F Leva: appeared
earlier in J R (471.9). Erebus: personification of darkness;
in Greek mythology, the son of Chaos and brother of Night; also, a ship
mentioned near the beginning of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.
Once at Antietam: as
Oscar admits later, an allusion to a line in Shakespeare’s Othello
(see 193.11 ff.)
Byron [...] he sued them:
words, words, words: perhaps
an allusion to Hamlet’s response to Polonious: “What do you read, my
Lord?” “Words, words, words” (2.2.195).
per stirpes: Lat.:
though Gaddis may not have known this; he did not care for Nabokov's fiction).
173.39 (195.36) van Gogh [...] fifty million dollars a few years ago:probably his Irises, which sold in 1987 for $53.9 million, the highest price ever paid for an artwork at auction at that time.
Cézanne (1839-1906), French painter.
175.41 (198.8) Break, on thy cold grey stones, O:
from Tennyson’s poem “Break, Break, Break” (ODQ).
(198.32) The great unwashed, yes. Sweep on, you fat and greasy citizens!:
the first half is the title of a book that examined the London
poor by Thomas Wright, The Great Unwashed (1868); the second
half is from Shakespeare’s As You Like It (2.1.55). [JS/SM]
the Merchant of . . .: of
information on Shakespeare’s business activities is accurate.
Rosalynde where he got As You Like It [...] Julius Caesar right out
of Plutarch: again,
Oscar’s information on Shakespeare’s sources is correct.
twice told tales: a
phrase from Shakespeare’s King John: “Life is as tedious as
a twice-told tale” (3.4.108).
‘(Touching the bandage: this
and the following quotations are identified on the next page as O’Neill’s
Thrasymachus [...] But of course you won’t’: Thrasymachus
is an impatient auditor of the courteous dialogue between Socrates
and Polimarchus, and interrupts as quoted at 336c-338c. (Jowett’s
“sillybillies” was dropped in the revised 4th edition of his translation
published in 1953.)
Dale Carnegie called the ‘Yes yes’ response: Gaddis
used this line in R (500).
the English translation of Plato’s Republic by Benjamin Jowett [...]
Oxford University Press in nineteen twenty: Jowett’s
translation of Plato’s dialogues, still considered one of the best,
first appeared in 1871. Gaddis probably used the 1937 2-volume Random
House edition of Plato’s Dialogues.
Arabian Nights Entertainment: better
(and more properly) known as A Thousand and One Nights—a vast
collection of ancient Persian, Indian, and Arabian tales, collected
in their present form in the fifteenth century.
as Aeschylus says wishing to be and not to seem good [...] Plato quoting
the dialogue, Glaucon is the one who quotes Aeschylus—from Seven
Camus (1913-60), Algerian-born French philosopher and novelist whose
works exerted enormous influence over writers in the 1940s and 1950s,
especially his sense of the absurd.
Madhar Pai probably has in mind The Rebel (1951; English trans. 1956), either Thomas's remark to his mother "it's as though you... cherish injustice" (72.37-38/80.17)--for which see the annotation to 351.37(402.11)--or William's remark "if life could be good at all then it had to be good for all men" (93.28-29/104.7-8) which echoes Camus on Ivan Karamazov's rejection of Christianity: "Ivan is the incarnation of the refusal to be the only one saved. He throws in his lot with the damned and, for their sake, rejects eternity. If he had faith, he could, in fact, be saved, but others would be damned and suffering would continue. There is no possible salvation for the man who feels real compassion. Ivan will continue to put God in the wrong by doubly rejecting faith as he would reject injustice and privilege. One step more and from All or Nothing we arrive at Everyone or No One" (trans. Anthony Bower [NY: Vintage, 1959], pp. 56-57). The Rebel is one of two Camus books that were in Gaddis's library when he died; the other is The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays.