Annotations to
Carpenter's Gothic
Chapter 3 
by Steven Moore except as [noted].

Carpenter's Gothic
annotations for chapter
1 . 2 . 3 . 4 . 5 . 6 . 7

Abbreviated References
A. Gaddis’ Books

CG: Carpenter’s Gothic. 1985. New York: Penguin, 1999.
FHO: A Frolic of His Own.
New York: Poseidon, 1994.
JR: J R.
1975. New York: Penguin, 1993.
R: The Recognitions.
1955. New York: Penguin, 1993.
B. Gaddis’s Sources
EB: Encyclopædia Britannica. 14th ed., 1929.
ODQ: The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations,
1st ed., 6th impression (London: Oxford University Press, 1949). Gaddis owned this particular impression, given to him by Ormande de Kay in Paris in 1950.
Plato: The Dialogues of Plato. Translated by Benjamin Jowett. New York: Random House, 1937. 2 vols.

63.3] Haydn [...] Debussy: Austrian (1732-1809) and French (1862-1918) composers, both of whom wrote for the piano.

66.20] This piece on the Masai: later identified as an article in Natural History (73.36). It is the following article: Tepilit Ole Saitoti, “Warrior of Maasailand,” Natural History August 1980, pp. 42-54. [AZ]

66.35] the bared teeth and the bared chest of the warrior: the picture of the Masai warrior on the cover of Natural History’s August 1980 issue. [AZ]

70.23] The Post: the New York Post, known for its sensationalism and ludicrous headlines.

71.28] Logan Act: a bill passed by Congress in 1799 forbidding a private citizen from undertaking diplomatic negotiations without official authority.

72.22] DI: Drill Instructor.  

77.22] Uncle Remus [...] the tar baby: from Joel Chandler Harris’s Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings (1881).  

77.26] Lenox Avenue: a principal thoroughfare in predominantly black Harlem.  

78.28] words from the book of Exodus [...] blood upon the dry land: Ex. 4:9. Here as elsewhere, the Authorized (King James) version is being quoted.  

79.1] First Thessalonians [...] meet the Lord in the air: 1 Thess. 4:16-17.  

79.6] those who are not saved [...] of Satan: adapted from Rev. 19-20.  

80.16] the profit Isaiah [...] in the house: Isa. 44:13. The prophet (“profit” is a deliberate typo) is describing the construction of pagan idols, futile because made by human hands.  

80.24] Is not this the carpenter’s son?: Matt. 13:55.

  80.24] He who builded [...] his absolute truth [...] many mansions: a hodgepodge of phrases from the Bible and pseudo-biblical diction; given the fundamentalists’ emphasis on “absolutes,” it is perhaps worth noting that no form of that word appears anywhere in the Bible.  

81.11] words from Revelation [...] water of life freely: Rev. 22:1, 17.

81.20] Exodus [...] my salvation: Ex. 15:2.

81.23] Pearly Gates: from C. F. Alexander’s 1853 hymn “The Roseate Hues”: “Oh! for the pearly gates of heaven! / Oh! for the golden floor!”  

81.24] Down By the River: traditional gospel song --details?  

82.17] Doris Chin: a swipe at broadcaster Connie Chung.  

87.31] Tu Do street: a major street in Saigon, often mentioned in Gaddis’s principal source for the Vietnam material in CG, Michael Herr’s Dispatches (New York: Knopf, 1977).  

90.1] Bobby Steyner: Gaddis was so incensed at George Steiner’s review of J R in the New Yorker that the critic is lampooned here. (The manuscript, which I read, was more explicit about the reference to Steiner.) 

91.11] Bachelor Officer Quarters when these VC sappers break in: more terms Gaddis probably picked up from Herr’s Dispatches.  

93.8] the BQE: the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.  

93.37] Marrakech: city in Morocco.  

94.7] Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary [...] disinterested [...] a pundit from the Times: in the eighth edition (1977), the use of the word disinterested in the sense of uninterested (a misuse according to purists) is illustrated by Times editorial writer C. L. Sulzberger’s “is supremely ~ in all efforts to find a peaceful solution.” Cf. 248.8 ff.  

95.25] scissors wielded murderously on the screen: in Hitchcock's 1954 film Dial M for Murder; Grace Kelly killed her attempted murderer with a pair of scissors. [AZ]

95.29] a sense that he was still a part of all that he could have been: from the description of Hugh Conway, the protagonist of James Hilton’s popular novel Lost Horizon (1933; New York: Pocket, 1939), p. 24, a character who has much in common with McCandless. (Gaddis originally used Lost Horizon in the places where Jane Eyre is now quoted, but the Hilton Estate refused permission, uneasy with the sexual contexts in which the quotations appeared.)  

Carpenter's Gothic
annotations for chapter
1 . 2 . 3 . 4 . 5 . 6 . 7

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