She lay back . . .: echoes, almost verbatim, 94.34. [MR]
Agincourt, Omdurman, Crécy: like
Crécy, the first two are sites of famous British military victories:
Agincourt (1415) over the French, and Omdurman (1898) over the Sudanese.
George Humphrey: Eisenhower’s
Secretary of the Treasury (1953-57).
John Foster Dulles, Eisenhower’s Secretary of State, or his brother
Allen W. Dulles, director of the CIA during the same administration.
to recover what had been lost and found and lost again and again:
from T. S.
Eliot’s poem “East Coker.”
the Great Imam: an
imam is an Islamic spiritual
guide; some Moslems believe a “hidden” or “awaited” imam will, like
the messiah, return someday to usher in a golden age of true Islam
before the world ends.
I’d come back as a buzzard Faulkner said once:
Faulkner told interviewer Jean Stein: “you know that if I were reincarnated,
I’d want to come back a buzzard. Nothing hates him or envies him or
wants him or needs him. He is never bothered or in danger, and he
can eat anything” (“The Art of Fiction XII: William Faulkner,” Paris
Review 12 [Spring 1956]:38). Stein was a neighbor of Gaddis’s
in the early 1980s.
The Heart of Darkness: by
Joseph Conrad (1902), a book important to Eigen in J
the girl’s body gets sent home [...] the cemetery: the
plot of William Styron’s novel Lie
Down in Darkness (1951).
Maracaibo: port in Venezuela. [AZ]
159.33] Maracaibo: port in Venezuela. [AZ]
161.17] Dance, talk [...] Death’s a fierce meadowlark: also from Jeffers’s “Wise Men in Their Bad Hours” (see 127.24).
Swing low sweet chariot [...] comin for to carry him home: opening
words of a famous gospel hymn.
bare ruined choirs: from
Shakespeare’s Sonnet 73.
My name is death, the last best friend am I: from
Robert Southey’s “The Dream” (from Carmen
Nuptiale, “The Lay of the Laureate”; ODQ),
also quoted in J R (396.40).
how cold your hands are, death. Come warm them at my heart: the
two lines (How cold your hands are, Death,/Come warm them at my heart.)
stand alone on the last page of a collection of poems by noted American
bacteriologist Hans Zinsser (1878-1940), also author of poems and
an autobiography. (Hans Zinsser, 'Spring, Summer, and Autumn,' New
York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1944, p. 91.) [AZ]
168.4] how cold your hands are, death. Come warm them at my heart: the two lines (How cold your hands are, Death,/Come warm them at my heart.) stand alone on the last page of a collection of poems by noted American bacteriologist Hans Zinsser (1878-1940), also author of poems and an autobiography. (Hans Zinsser, 'Spring, Summer, and Autumn,' New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1944, p. 91.) [AZ]
a prison on a small island in Long Island Sound, between Queens and
playing dice with the universe: in
a letter to his colleague Max Born, Albert Einstein wrote, “I cannot
believe that God would choose to play dice with the world.” Cf. R
Proconsul africanus … Lake Victoria … really be the missing
link: Proconcul africanus is the smallest species of the genus
Proconsul, the best known of early Miocene ape-like primates, living
17 to 20 million years ago in the Rift Valley of East Africa. Proconsul
is the first hominoid, because it shares a few features with living
apes and humans. [AZ]
180.33] Proconsul africanus … Lake Victoria … really be the missing link: Proconcul africanus is the smallest species of the genus Proconsul, the best known of early Miocene ape-like primates, living 17 to 20 million years ago in the Rift Valley of East Africa. Proconsul is the first hominoid, because it shares a few features with living apes and humans. [AZ]
181.17] Samburu hills: in Northern Kenya, where in 1982 a Japan-Kenya joint expedition team found fossil specimens of a large hominoid (Samburupithecus) of the late Miocene. [AZ]
181.19] the Afar Triangle: region of Ethiopia known for the identification of very old hominid remains, especially the Australopithicus afarensis. Two regions in Afar known as culturally rich are the Hadar and Middle Awash regions. [AZ]
Jeremiah [...] wormwood and the gall: see
Jer. 9:15, 23:15.
Lord coming down like a whirlwind [...] breaketh the rock: Jer.
Until textbooks are changed [...] a charming Texas couple: Mel
and Norma Gabler, founders of Education Research Analysts, a textbook
screening “service” they operated from their home in Longview, Texas.
The quotations are from Dena Kleiman’s “Influential Couple Scrutinize
Books for ‘Anti-Americanism,’” New
York Times, 14 July 1981, C1, 4.
Nat Turner: American
slave and religious fanatic who murdered his master’s family and led
an insurrection of neighboring slaves in 1831; captured, tried, and
hanged the same year. Fictionalized in Styron’s The
Confessions of Nat Turner (1967).
Londonderry to Chandigarh: that
is, from Ireland (Protestants vs. Catholics) to India (Moslems vs.
a farm boy in upstate New York: Joseph
Smith: see 128.17.
180.28-31] those brawls over equal time … if there’s a clock there must be a clockmaker: see article in Time magazine, March 16, 1980 already quoted 135.21: “Should school boards and legislatures yield to the creationists innocuous-sounding request of equal time.” And also: “Creationist tend to put it as follows: The existence of a clock implies a clockmaker; the existence of creation implies a creator.” (p. 52) [AZ]
Runciman [...] a twelve year old with a letter from Jesus: see
127.22. This episode is in vol. 3, pp. 139-44; the boy was a shepherd
churches are all built on the blood of their martyrs: as
a later reference indicates (224.4), from early church father Tertullian’s
(160?-230?) famous boast: “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of
the Church” (ODQ).
what Africa’s really all about: more
material from the book mentioned at 128.21.
Namibia … Clive Street, Robindale, Randburg:
(Randburg is a NW suburb of Johannesburg)
(Randburg is a NW suburb of Johannesburg)
the Green Pastures: a
1930 religious play by Marc Connelly, later turned into a movie, featuring
an all-black cast.
Haydn’s Notturno number five in C:
a divertimento written in 1790, one of eight “nocturnes” commissioned
by King Ferdinand IV of Naples.
Paul to the Ephusians [...] wickedness in high places: i.e.,
clergy malpractice [...] family’s Roman Catholic they sue for negligence:
based on the case of Kenneth Nally, who committed suicide in 1979
at the age of 24 after receiving counseling from a member of a fundamentalist
church in Sun Valley, California. His parents, Roman Catholics, filed
a $1 million suit that attracted considerable attention in legal journals.
See New York Times, 14
June 1980, 6; 30 June 1984, 5; 20 September 1987, 26.
never happen sir. Get up on that ridgeline: an
anecdote from Herr’s Dispatches
Jacob and Esau saying I will appease him: Genesis.
through his policy [...] by peace destroy many: Daniel
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