Scenes 21 - 30 | pages 149 - 194

Annotations by Steven Moore except as [noted].

< scenes 1--10 | pp. 3 - 59   $   scenes 31--40 | pp. 194 - 251 >

annotations with scene outline
scenes 1 - 10 | pp. 3 - 59    
 scenes 11 - 20 | pp. 59 - 149   
scenes 21 - 30 | pp. 149 - 194
scenes 31--40 | pp. 194 - 251
scenes 41--50 | pp. 251--352
scenes 51 - 60 | pp. 352 - 449
scenes 61 - 70 | pp. 449 - 580
scenes 71 - 83 | pp. 580 - 726
scene outline only


Scene 21 (149.15-154.43)
General Roll plant, Astoria

Angel confers with his foreman Leo; learns that his secretary Terry has been posing for pornographic photographs; Angel leaves for business trip to Chicago.

Scene 22 (154.44-156.11)
General Roll plant

Terry handles phones for a few days while Angel is out of town.

Scene 23 (156.12-159.18)
General Roll plant

Angel returns, clears up business, leaves for home.

Scene 24 (159.8-161.21)
Astoria to Manhattan

Angel sees Gibbs (visiting his daughter), but Gibbs escapes before Angel can reach him and walks to subway station behind Terry and Myrna. At Penn Station, Gibbs offers to buy Myrna a drink.

160.44] Statue of Liberty [...] refuse from one teeming shore: an allusion to the verses inscribed on the Statue of Liberty, from Emma Lazarus’s The New Colossus” (1883):

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

161.18] the dawn of the world: from Empedocles’ cosmogony: see 45.6.

Scene 25 (161.22-166.44)
Penn Station to Massapequa

DiCephalis runs into wife Ann and travels with her by train home; disastrous dinner and puppet play; next day he drives to post office.

162.7] El hedouli [...] el modakheli [...] barake: from the The Perfumed Garden, a sex manual from the 16th century compiled by Umar ibn-Muhammed Nafzawi.

166.30] Role Therapy and the Decision Making Process: unidentified. 

Scene 26 (166.45-174.8)
Massapequa post office

DiCephalis jostles J R and the Hyde boy, who compare mail; J R explains army fork deal; boys walk to school; overhear drug deal in boys’ restroom.

167.37] Kidder . . . Hornblower:  :  prior to its acquisition by GE in 1986, Kidder Peabody was an investment bank with a history dating back to the 1850s [MR]. Gaddis owned stock in Hornblower, Weeks, Noyes & Trask, a Manhattan brokerage firm.

170.36 Selma Krupskaya. See also 583.12 where the first name is Olga. Maybe an (ironic) allusion to W.I. Lenin's wife Nadezhda K. Krupskaya. [AZ]

171.24] hurry up [...] it’s time: cf. the pubkeeper’s refrain in part 2 of Eliot’s The Waste Land.

transition (174.9-.12)
Time passes at school.  

Scene 27 (174.12-185.15)

Coach Vogel and Whiteback chat in boys’ room; Whiteback returns to principal’s office, joining diCephalis, Hyde, and Stye (an insurance agent); Gibbs on television, who later joins them in office (183); Gibbs learns of Schramm’s accident, takes a swing at Hyde, then leaves for post office and train station.

175.23] catching light from nowhere, his lenses went blank: see 18.21. [MR]

176.16] what was his name that shot the president over a washing machine:
satirizing the many theories for Lee Harvey Oswald's assassination of John K. Kennedy, it was proposed a dispute with his wife over a washing machine evoked in Oswald "the wish to strike and hurt someone." The supposed theory is mentioned in the May 1967 issue of Esquire, which may have been WG's source. [Greg Werge and Keith McMullen]

178.36] Mongst the giants of money [...] the little church so shy, it whispers I am . . .: unidentified.

179.7] I am the song the Brahmin sings [...] I am the . . .: misquoted from Emerson’s poem “Brahma.”

182.34] that painter of his cutting off his ear: see 49.10.

Scene 28 (185.16-188.3)

J R and Hyde boy walk to post office, run into Gibbs there.

Scene 29 (188.3-191.3)
Massapequa to New York

Gibbs argues with ticket-seller; trains into New York; calls Eigen about Schramm; spots Amy in Penn Station.

188.5] Chloe: words by Gus Kahn, music by Neil Moret (1927), parodied by Spike Jones in the 1940s.

188.15] Jack's Little Green Card: a horse-racing tipsheet popular from the 1940s through the 1980s. It is also perhaps the source of the pseudonym Jack Green, author of Fire the Bastards! and a gambling man.

189.33] Gott-trunkener Mensch: a “God-intoxicated man” is what Novalis called Spinoza (ODQ).

189.33] Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens: “With stupidity the gods themselves struggle in vain”—from Schiller’s Jungfrau von Orleans (3.6)(ODQ).

190.45] old Shirley Temple movies, Jack Haley [...] she comes out the other: see Poor Little Rich Girl (1936), directed by Irving Cummings.

Scene 30 (191.4-194.5)

Amy greets her son Francis, hurries for a cab to avoid Gibbs; after freshening up at her apartment (in the East 70s) she takes Francis to various museums, dinner; after Francis goes to sleep, her husband Lucien arrives (192-93); next morning father and son are gone. Amy takes a cab down to Typhon.

191.6] The Charge of the Light Brigade: Tennyson’s famous poem (1854).

194.6] The Light Cavalry Overture: from the 1866 operetta Die leichte Kavallerie by Austrian composer Franz Suppé (1819-95).

194.22] The Peanut Vendor: words by L. Wolfe Gilbert and Marion Sunshine, music adapted by Moises Simons from the popular Latin American song “El Mansiero” (1931). Popularized in this country by Paul Whiteman, Guy Lombardo, and Xavier Cugat and their orchestras.

194.29] a demented Virgil for the amorphous Dante: Virgil leads Dante through the underworld in the latter’s Inferno. 

Abbreviated Bibliography
A.  Gaddis' Books
CG: Carpenter’s Gothic.
1985. New York: Penguin, 1999.
FHO: A Frolic of His Own.
New York: Poseidon, 1994.
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 
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.

C.  Gaddis Criticism
Knight, Christopher, Hints and Guesses:  William Gaddis and the Fiction of Longing, Madison: Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 1997.

Wolfe, Peter, A Vision of His Own: The Mind and Art of William Gaddis, Madison & Teaneck, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson Univ. Press, 1997.  

annotations with scene outline
scenes 1 - 10 | pp. 3 - 59    
 scenes 11 - 20 | pp. 59 - 149   
scenes 21 - 30 | pp. 149 - 194
scenes 31--40 | pp. 194 - 251
scenes 41--50 | pp. 251--352
scenes 51 - 60 | pp. 352 - 449
scenes 61 - 70 | pp. 449 - 580
scenes 71 - 83 | pp. 580 - 726
scene outline only