Annotations to
Carpenter's Gothic
Chapter 6 
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.

223.3] The unswerving punctuality of chance: a phrase appearing near the end of Thomas Wolfe's Look Homeward, Angel (1929)

"Then I of yours the seeming, Ben? Your flesh is dead and buried in these hills: my unimprisoned soul haunts through the million streets of life, living its spectral nightmare of hunger and desire. Where, Ben? Where is the world?"

"Nowhere,' Ben said. "You are your world."

Inevitable catharsis by the threads of chaos. Unswerving punctuality of chance. Apexical summation, from the billion deaths of possibility, of things done. (Scribner softcover edition, p. 520)

Gaddis told Steven Moore he heard the phrase used by a fellow Harvard classmate in the 1940s; it appears in all five of his novels: R 9.5, JR 486.1, CG 233.3, FHO 50.34, 258.4, AA 63.1. – Travis Dunn

224.4] Tertullian’s the blood of the martyrs: see 187.16.  

224.12] battle of Antietam: the crucial 1862 battle is the subject of Oscar Crease’s play in FHO.  

226.12] Going over a trestle? [...] I saw the same movie: too many films feature a scene like this to identify the present reference.  

226.30] en désordre [...] certainement: Fr. “in disorder, the house, yes . . . tomorrow? first thing in the morning, yes? Certainly.”  

228.30] facts proof against fine phrases: in Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms (1929), Frederic Henry says:  

229.16] De Beers: De Beers Consolidated Mines has been one of the largest mining operations in South Africa since the nineteenth century.  

234.7] drawing the line against the evil empire: {a phrase of Reagan’s? cf. 259.8, 189.25}    

235.7] Langley: headquarters of the CIA.  

235.23] the Phoenix program: [check NYT index]  

235.26] Le Cirque: an expensive restaurant in Manhattan.  

235.37] the Zen master [...] bent old tree:  

236.16] If you don’t own them you can’t trust them: John Cates in JR, pp. 98, 183, 424. [AZ]  

238.14] the Lord rained brimstone [...] the smoke of a furnace: Gen. 19:24-28.  

241.19] war is politics carried on by other means [...] von Clausewitz:  Prussian soldier and military theorist Karl von Clausewitz (1780-1831); the famous statement is from his three-volume study Vom Kriege (1833).  

242.28] creating a disciple [...] created an apostate:  

243.16] worship the beast [...] wine of the wrath of God: Rev. 14:9-10.  

243.22] Tiger Howell in the 11th Cav: see 

243.22] The Lord is a man of war, that’s Exodus: Ex. 15:3.  

243.23] voice from heaven [...] die in the Lord: Rev. 14:13.  

245.23] I think I loved you when I knew I’d never see you again: this echoes the final line of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 73, just as “that time of day” on p. 1 echoed its first.  

248.8] loose [...] the author’s name misspelled: in Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary (see 94.7), under the word loose Peter Matthiessen’s surname is misspelled Mathiessen.  

248.11] livid [...] licensed by a sensitive novelist as reddish [...] under electric letters): the quote is from Truman Capote.  

248.22] in the laurel walk [...] splitting half of it away: from Jane Eyre, chap. 23 (cf. 56.31).  

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