Annotations to
Carpenter's Gothic
Chapter 5 
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.

151.1]: She lay back . . .: echoes, almost verbatim, 94.34. [MR]

152.22] Huckleberry Finn, The Call of the Wild, those stories by Kipling and that book about the Indian, the last Indian?:
classic books by Mark Twain, Jack London, Rudyard Kipling (The Jungle Book perhaps), and James Fenimore Cooper (The Last of the Mohicans).

153.18] 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.  

154.14] George Humphrey: Eisenhower’s Secretary of the Treasury (1953-57).  

154.15] Dulles: either John Foster Dulles, Eisenhower’s Secretary of State, or his brother Allen W. Dulles, director of the CIA during the same administration.  

155.15] to recover what had been lost and found and lost again and again: from T. S. Eliot’s poem “East Coker.”  

157.12] 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.  

157.22] 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.  

158.12] The Heart of Darkness: by Joseph Conrad (1902), a book important to Eigen in J R.  

158.16] the girl’s body gets sent home [...] the cemetery: the plot of William Styron’s novel Lie Down in Darkness (1951).  

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).    

161.33]: Her fingers rose . . . surge: echoes 117.25. [MR]

162.1]: tracing the veins . . . beading: echoes 117.26. [MR]

167.3] Swing low sweet chariot [...] comin for to carry him home: opening words of a famous gospel hymn.  

167.5] bare ruined choirs: from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 73.  

167.6]: gentle voices calling: From "Old Black Joe" by Stephen Foster, 1860. [MR]

168.2] 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).  

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]

173.8] Riker’s Island: a prison on a small island in Long Island Sound, between Queens and the Bronx.  

180.13] 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 626.10.  

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]

182.6] Jeremiah [...] wormwood and the gall: see Jer. 9:15, 23:15.  

182.7] Lord coming down like a whirlwind [...] breaketh the rock: Jer. 4:13, 23:29  

184.8] 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.  

184.23] 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).  

185.23] Fatima: see 144.30.  

186.5] Londonderry to Chandigarh:  that is, from Ireland (Protestants vs. Catholics) to India (Moslems vs. Hindus).  

186.26] 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]

187.3] 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 named Stephen.  

187.16] 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).  

187.28] what Africa’s really all about: more material from the book mentioned at 128.21.  

189.29] Namibia … Clive Street, Robindale, Randburg: (Randburg is a NW suburb of Johannesburg)  

190.26] the Green Pastures: a 1930 religious play by Marc Connelly, later turned into a movie, featuring an all-black cast.    
198.2] Bantu Prophets of South Africa:
correctly, Bantu Prophets in South Africa, a 1948 book by Bengt G. M. Sundkler, a Swedish Lutheran missionary, about Zulu Christianity.  

199.35] Haydn’s Notturno number five in C: a divertimento written in 1790, one of eight “nocturnes” commissioned by King Ferdinand IV of Naples.  

203.31] Paul to the Ephusians [...] wickedness in high places: i.e., Ephesians 6:12.  

207.13] clergy malpractice [...] family’s Roman Catholic they sue for negligence: apparently 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.    

209.18]: you know as much about finance as some snot nosed sixth grader: e.g. JR. [MR]

214.19] never happen sir. Get up on that ridgeline: an anecdote from Herr’s Dispatches (26):  

“We had this lieutenant, honest to Christ he was about the biggest dipshit fool of all time, all time. We called him Lieutenant Gladly ’cause he was always going like, ‘Men . . . Men, I won’t never ask you to do nothing I wouldn’t do myself gladly,’ what an asshole. We was on 1338 and he goes to me, ‘Take a little run up to the ridge and report to me,’ and I goes like, ‘Never happen, Sir.’ So he does, he goes up there himself and damned if the fucker didn’t get zapped.”  

215.27] Jacob and Esau saying I will appease him: Genesis. 32:20.  

215.33] through his policy [...] by peace destroy many: Daniel 8:25.    

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

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