Annotations by Steven Moore except as [noted].

Scenes 41 - 50 | pages 251 - 352

< scenes 31--40 | pp. 194--251   $   scenes 51--60 | p. 352--449 >

Scene 41 (251.46-257.22)
Typhon International
Eigen receives Gibbs’ call, then Davidoff’s; Beaton and Davidoff argue the stockholder’s suit that J R has filed; crew arrives to remove Schepperman’s painting.

Scene 42 (257.23-272.44)
Eigen’s apartment (2nd Avenue)
Eigen’s wife Marian needles him about his friends; his strained, loveless home life displayed; Eigen leaves with a policeman for the 96th Street apartment to check up on Schramm; Gibbs arrives (267) and Marian tells him she plans to leave Tom, and when she finally tells him of Schramm’s suicide, Gibbs takes a cab to 96th Street.

256.1] AMD . . . RPSCTDY . . . AFB . . . IAW: Air Movement Designator; Return to Proper Station upon Completion of Temporary Duty; Air Force Base; In Accordance With.  These and other military acronyms are explained at http://www.smdc.army.mil/PubAff/Acron.pdf

262.41] And there […] amonst the stones:
from Gaddis’s play Once at Antietam; see FHO 77 for the entire passage.

263.22] Better to go down dignified [...] Provide, provide: from the last stanza of Robert Frost’s poem “Provide, Provide.”

264.12] Heffalump: an elephant mentioned in A. A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh stories.

267.6] Nana had filmy eyes [...] And as Mrs Darling was . . .: from Sir J. M. Barrie’s children’s classic Peter Pan (1911).

269.39] as Freud said what the hell is it you want: “The great question [...] which I have not been able to answer, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is ‘What does a woman want?’”—quoted in Charles Rolo’s Psychiatry in American Life (1963).

Scene 43 (272.45-286.18)
96th Street apartment
(between 2nd and 3rd Avenues)
Gibbs joins Eigen to discover Schramm has hanged himself; they return to their own apartment down the hall. While Eigen goes for liquor, Bast arrives (277); Tom returns; after Gibbs and Eigen leave, Bast spends the night composing.

275.28] the torrents of spring: title of Hemingway’s first novel (1926).

276.14] Moody’s Industrials: reports on the stock activities in the manufacturing sector.

276.42] halte là! [...] Qui va là!: see 280.19 below.

278.11] a place of stone: Yeats: see 131.3.

278.24] Mister Grynszpan: probably named after Herschel Grynszpan, a Polish Jew whose assassination of a minor Nazi official resulted in the notorious Kristallnacht (9-10 November 1938).

278.40] Backward turn backward [...] make Tom Mister Grynszpan just for: from Elizabeth Akers Allen’s (1832-1911) once-popular poem “Rock Me to Sleep, Mother”: “Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight, / Make me a child again, just for to-night!” (ODQ). Full text.

280.19] Halte là [...] Don José comes marching up: from act 2 of Bizet’s Carmen (Kobbé 594).

280.34] Sorrows of Young Werther: Goethe’s short novel (1787), whose suicidal hero is similar to the romantic speaker in “Locklsey Hall.”

280.39] Get to wed some savage: “Locksley Hall,” l. 168; misquoted again on the next page (281.16).

280.43] Lucas Cranach: German painter and engraver (1472-1553), best known for his portraits of Martin Luther and other reformers.

280.44] a sorceress by Baldung: Hans Baldung (1484?-1545), German painter and engraver, much influenced by Dürer; picture as yet unidentified.

281.6] Book I read once the girl had breasts like warm duck eggs: from Robert S. Close's novel  Love Me Sailor , first published in Australia in 1945 and the subject of an obscenity suit. (It was widely reprinted thereafter, including an American mass-market in 1952.) The novel concerns the adventures of the only woman aboard a rough ship. On page 10 of a British edition from 1972, we're told: "She bent against the table to eat, and I knew her breasts would feel like two warm duck eggs." {Robert Pirkola}

282.16] barake: see 162.7.

282.21] Kalevala: the Finnish national epic, compiled from popular songs and oral tradition. It gives an account of the origin of the world, followed by the adventures of the three sons of Kaleva.

282.22] Freya and Brisingamen: the latter is the necklace worn by Freya, Norse goddess of love, fecundity, and death. (In Wagner’s Ring, she is only the goddess of love, with no mention of Brisingamen or her darker aspects.)

282.29] undigested Plato: in FHO we learn that portions of Once at Antietam are paraphrases from Plato’s dialogues.

282.32] agapé […] agape: the first mention of the title of Gaddis’s posthumous work. The opening pages of the earlier, nonfiction version of this work are quoted on pp. 288-89, 571-72, 573, 574, 575-76, 579, 581, 585, 587, 594-95, and 604.

282.32] squeeze the universe into a ball: from Eliot’s “Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” l. 92.

283.13] Tolstoy [...] what I could do: see 248.36.

284.19] Lazarus [...] come back to tell you all: also from Eliot's “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” ll. 94-95.

284.21] believing and shitting are two very different: see 42.18.

284.23] But turn your eyes from Lazarus [...] that must go search among the desert places where wait, his eye: from W. B. Yeats's short play Calvary, first published in 1921 in Four Plays for Dancers. Resentful of being raised from the dead, Lazarus tells Christ:

And I was free four days, four days being dead.
Climb up to Calvary but turn your eyes
From Lazarus that cannot find a tomb
Although he search all height and depth : make way,
Make way for Lazarus that must go search
Among the desert places where there is nothing
But howling wind and solitary birds.   [Greg Werge]

Scene 44 (286.19-290.15)
96th Street apartment
Gibbs returns next day, reads to Bast the opening of his unfinished book, Agapē Agape.

287.25] Beethoven told Cipriani Potter [...] because you may be tempted to consult it: Potter (1792-1871) was Director of the Royal Music Academy in London. “Once Beethoven advised him never to compose sitting in a room in which there was a pianoforte, in order not to be tempted to consult the instrument; after a work was finished he might try it over on the instrument, because an orchestra was not always to be had”—Thayer’s Life of Beethoven, rev. and ed. Elliot Forbes (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1967), 683. (Thayer’s Life does not appear to be Gaddis’s source, but it does contain all of the Beethoveniana in J R.)

288.5] Johannes Müller: “Johannes Müller the physiologist [1801-58] tried to produce a melody by blowing through a carefully prepared larynx in which strings and weights replaced muscular action. To save fees demanded by living singers Müller suggested that opera companies could buy the larynxes of dead opera stars; after proper treatment the larynxes could be made to sing the most beautiful songs and arias”—from Alexander Buchner’s Mechanical Musical Instruments, trans. Iris Urwin (London: Batchworth Press, 1954?), 16. This ghoulish anecdote is also related in AA (16.15).

288.45] Please do not shoot the pianist. He is doing his best: this and much of what follows is from Oscar Wilde’s lecture “Impressions of America” (1883), reprinted in The Annotated Oscar Wilde, ed. H. Montgomery Hyde (New York: Clarkson Potter, 1982), 379-82.  [AW]  The passage from that work:

"From Salt Lake City one travels over the great plains of Colorado and up the Rocky Mountains, on the top of which is Leadville, the richest city in the world. It has also got the reputation of being the roughest, and every man carries a revolver. I was told that if I went there they would be sure to shoot me or my traveling manager. I wrote and told them that nothing that they could do to my traveling manager would intimidate me. They are miners--men working in metals, so I lectured to them on the Ethics of Art. I read them passages from the autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini and they seemed much delighted. I was reproved by my hearers for not having brought him with me. I explained that he had been dead for some little time which elicited the enquiry "Who shot him?" They afterwards took me to a dancing saloon where I saw the only rational method of art criticism I have ever come across. Over the piano was printed a notice:


The mortality among pianists in that place is marvelous. Then they asked me to supper, and having accepted, I had to descend a mine in a rickety bucket in which it was impossible to be graceful. Having got into the heart of the mountain I had supper, the first course being whisky, the second whisky and the third whisky."

289.10] all art does constantly aspire to the condition of music: Walter Pater’s famous formulation is from “The School of Giorgione” in The Renaissance (ODQ).

289.13] beast with two backs: Iago’s figure for fornication in Othello (1.1.117).

289.16] leave history to bunk: echoes Henry Ford assertion: “History is bunk” (OED).

289.29] flute is not [...] expressive of moral character [...] Aristotle: from Benjamin Jowett’s translation of the Politica (8.6).

289.31] Frank Woolworth: American merchant (1852-1919), founder of the Woolworth chain of stores.

289.35] George Jones through McGuffey’s Fourth Eclectic Reader [...] stamp improvement on the wings of time: American educator William Holmes McGuffey (1800-73) originated a series of readers used extensively in 19th-century schools; Gibbs quotes from the conclusion to a selection entitled “Consequence of Idleness” writen by Jacob Abbott (1803-79), introduced in the Third reader in 1837 and reprinted in the Fourth in 1857.

290.7] what Beethoven [...] wrote the countess of [...] the better among us bear one another in mind: in a letter to Countess Therese Brunsvik dated 23 November 1810 Beethoven wrote: “Even without prompting, people of the better kind think of each other . . .” On 2 February 1811 Therese Brunsvik sent a copy of the letter to her sister Josephine, perhaps explaining why Thayer ascribes it to that rather than the original date. (Thayer’s Life, 504). [SM/AZ]

Scene 45 (290.16-309.35)
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street

Bast walks down to the Met, where he runs into Crawley, then meets with J R (291), there on a school trip, to discuss the Eagle Mills takeover. Crawley runs into Amy with her students (Vogel assisting), then leaves them in Vogel’s care.

293.43] Mouse Argonne: i.e., the Meuse-Argonne, site of an important battle during World War I.

297.12] Mister Piscator: Saint Peter is called “il pescator” (the fisherman) in Dante’s Paradiso (18:136), and Piscator is the name of the angler in Izaak Walton’s Compleat Angler (1653).

303.15] Understanding Financial Statements: book by John N. Myer, originally entitled What the Executive Should Know about the Accountant’s Statements (1964).

309.13] Niadu Airgetlam [...] of the Silver Hand [...] Nodens: in Irish mythology, King Niadu of the Silver Hand replaced his arm lost in combat with one of silver. He has been associated with Nodens, a sea god of Celtic Britain whose name means “fisher,” and who consequently has also been associated with the Fisher King of the Grail romances (see next note).

309.18] the Fisher King [...] the wasteland: the maimed king whose wound causes his kingdom to deteriorate into a wasteland; a major figure in Jessie L. Weston’s From Ritual to Romance

transition (309.36-310.19)
Vogel talks to himself during the bus trip back to Massapequa; tries to dump the kids on Ann diCephalis in the school parking lot, but she escapes home.

310.11] Daisies won’t tell: a turn-of-the-century song by Anita Owen: “Sweet bunch of daisies, / Brought from the dell, / Kiss me once, darling, / Daisies won’t tell.

Scene 46 (310.20-317.44)
DiCephalis home
Dan returns from hospital, catches up on school news. A few days pass. Dan walks to school.

310.37] Custer’s Last Stand: the Battle of Little Big Horn occurred on 25 June 1876—a year important to J R: Wagner’s complete Ring was first performed that year, Gibbs’s notes for his Agapē Agape begin with 1876 (586); Bell patented the telephone that year (note that on the bottom of p. 556 there’s a phone bill for $1876); and at the Philadelphia Exposition of 1876 the earliest player piano (Forneaux’s Pianista) was exhibited.

314.29] Mister Morgenthau: after Henry Morgenthau, Jr. (1891-1967), FDR’s Secretary of the Treasury.

315.24] el modakheli: see 162.7.

Scene 47 (317.45-332.22)
Vogel kids diCephalis about his suit; Gibbs holds up school schedule by reading the Constitution over PA system; in principal’s office Whiteback, diCephalis, and Hyde discuss school matters; Pecci joins in (324); Whiteback chastises J R for using school’s adding machine (332).

318.3] Danny, I hardly knew ye [...] have to be put in a bowl to beg: from the anonymous ballad “Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye” (also quoted in The Recognitions, 195.31 ff.).

318.21] Newcomen: Thomas Newcomen (1663-1729), English blacksmith, inventor of an atmospheric steam engine.

318.30] James Watt: Scottish mechanical engineer (1736-1819), who improved Newcomen’s steam engine when given one to repair.

318.35] Rock of Ages [...] Augustus Montague Toplady: English clergyman (1740-78); the famous hymn was first published in Gospel Magazine (1775). (Lyrics and midi rendition.)

318.41] The song is ended but the malady lingers on: a take-off on the popular song by Irving Berlin (1927). (Lyrics and "sing-along" midi rendition.)

Scene 48 (332.23-341.33)

J R conducts business on pay phone; Gibbs uses the phone to call his lawyer (to tell him he’s sent his General Roll stock to his ex-wife in lieu of alimony), then goes to Whiteback’s office (339), and finally to a bar.

Scene 49 (341.34-348.7)
Gibbs returns to school (nearly catching J R returning from post office), sees Vogel about a shoe. J R back on school phone with Bast. Gibbs (in the deceased Buzzie’s sneakers) uses phone after him, then sees Amy in hall, interrupted by Stella, who offers to drive Gibbs into town.

337.23. I suppose that’s a way of putting it: cf. T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets, "East Coker," section 2: "That was a way of putting it—not very satisfactory: / A periphrastic study in a worn-out poetical fashion, / Leaving one still with the intolerable wrestle / With words and meanings." [JS]

341.28. And Nanook‘s loosing battle against the blizzard of scratched remnants of film…Robert Flaherty‘s film of 1922, "Nanook of the North." See also 475.2 and 498.20.  About the film:
http://www.oneworldmagazine.org/seek/nanook/main.htm     [AZ]

341.40] Blenheim:
site of historic battle fought 13 August 1704, won by Marlborough; see 396.32.

342.7] Venice was frozen music: later identified as a line by Pater: see 527.36.

342.8] Steady, steady now, remember Howard’s sacred gore: A confused reference to the Maryland State Song, where the words "remember Howard's," "sacred," and "gore" occur within relatively close proximity. The full text of the song is at http://www.netstate.com/states/symb/song/md_md_my_md.htm
Gaddis had Edmund Wilson's Patriotic Gore in his library, which has an epigraph containing the first verse of the song, and on page 400 is a description of its composition and character.
[Robert Pirkola]

342.20] Mrs. Carlyle [...] waked up in the middle of the night by the bed shaking? [...] Sartor Resartus: Gaddis probably picked this anecdote up from Frank Harris's My Life and Loves (1925), where Harris quotes Sir Richard Quain on what Mrs. Carlyle told him about her wedding night with the Scottish writer:

"'A little later he came up, undressed and got into bed beside me. I expected him to take me in his arms and kiss and caress me. [¶] Nothing of the sort, he lay there, jiggling like.' ("I guessed what she meant," said Quain, "the poor devil in a blue funk was frigging himself . . .") 'I thought for some time,' Mrs. Carlyle went on, 'one moment I wanted to kiss and caress him; the next moment I felt indignant. Suddenly it occurred to me that in all my hopes and imaginings of a first night I had never got near the reality: silent the man lay there, jiggling, jiggling. Suddenly I burst out laughing: it was too wretched, too absurd! [¶] At once he got out of bed with the one scornful word "Woman!" and went into the next room: he never came back to my bed.'" (NY: Grove Press, 1963, p. 210)

They never did consummate their marriage. Sartor Resartus (The Tailor Retailored) is a philosophical satire by Caryle (1833-34). {Robert Pirkola}

342.22] Here comes Dan with all the news, got the boxback coat and the . . .: from the song That's What I Like About the South, performed by Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys. The relevant portion is

Here come old Bob with all the news
Got the boxback coat with button shoes
But he's all caught up with his union dues
An' that's what I like about the South.

The full text of the song and additional information can be found at
[Robert Pirkola]

346.21] Belle Amie: in earlier drafts of the novel, beautiful Amy Joubert’s first name was spelled Amie.

346.26] when suddenly I saw your foot: identified on 348 as a line from a poem, but source unknown.

347.42] one and two dimensional people: perhaps an allusion to Edwin A. Abbott’s 1884 novel Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimesnions.

Scene 50 (348.8-352.12)
Massapequa to New York
While driving to Manhattan, Stella lies to Gibbs about Norman beating her and shows his pornographic photos of Terry, but she is primarily interested in Gibbs’s five shares of General Roll stock; drops Gibbs off and continues to her apartment.

348.21] Patou: a Paris couture house founded by Jean Patou (1887-1936), French dressmaker and designer.

349.7] thought it was Moonglow but it’s that damned Tchaikowski thing: “Moonglow” was a 1934 song made popular in the 1950s by Morris Stoloff and His Orchestra; apparently based on Tchaikowski’s 1812 Overture (see Coach Vogel’s remarks on 342.5-8).

351.16] Off with that weary coronet [...] John Donne: from his Elegy 19: “To His Mistress Going to Bed” —where it reads “wiry,” not “weary.”

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




















































































































































341.28 Scene from "Nanook of the North."


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

< scenes 31--40 | pp. 194--251   $   scenes 51--60 | pp. 352--449 >

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