Scenes 71 - 83 | pages 580 - 726
Annotations by Steven Moore except as [noted].

< scenes 61--70 | pp. 449 - 580

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 71 (580.22-610.10)
96th Street apartment
Gibbs wakes next day to a delivery of 100,000 plastic flowers; continues working on book amid disruptions. Rhoda, Al, and another member of the band Gravestone return while Gibbs is out; he returns, drives out Al and friend; Rhoda leaves for interview. Gibbs finds and reads Schramm's notes. Rhoda returns (597). Gibbs compares his manuscript to invalid (603); night ends with Gibbs reading drunkenly aloud and Rhoda (high on cocaine) imagining a shipwreck.

581.20] Dewey [...]most awkward writer in the God damned language, break off in the middle of one of his clumsy God damned sentences don't even notice it: see 571.43; in his introduction, Dworkin writes baldly, "Dewey wrote badly" (13).

581.26] William James [...] what worked into a philosophy: James's pragmatism is basically a philosophy of "what works."

581.27] E L Thorndike [...] Animal Intelligence: 1911 book by Edward Lee Thorndike (1874-1949), American psychologist and teacher, author also of The Measurement of Intelligence.

581.32] F W Taylor: Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856-1915), American efficiency engineer.

581.34] Mary Baker Eddy: (1821-1910), founder of Christian Science.

584.9] Go lovely Rose: from Edmund Waller's (1606-87) "Song: ‘Go Lovely Rose!'" (ODQ).

584.10] Elena in Turgenev's On the Eve: the serious young heroine of the Russian writer's third novel (1859), with whom three men are in love. She settles for a patriotic Bulgarian, and after his premature death carries on his revolutionary work.

584.14] Gluck's underworld: see 235.2.

584.15] beware women who blow on knots: see 486.23.

584.16] perhaps it was right [...] kick me downstairs: from Isaac Bickerstaffe's (1733-1808?) poem "An Expostulation" (ODQ).

584.17] No book heroine [...] heart yearning: see 486.18.

585.22] Aristotle's kingdom [...] tripods of Hephaestus, which, says the poet: (quotation completed at 594.18): distinguishing between living instruments and lifeless (e.g., the pilot and his rudder), Aristotle writes in Politics: "For if every instrument could accomplish its own work, obeying or anticipating the will of others, like the statues of Daedalus, or the tripods of Haphaestus, which, says the poet, ‘of their own accord entered the assembly of the Gods' [Homer's Iliad 18:376]; if, in like manner, the shuttle would weave and the plectrum touch the lyre without a hand to guide them, chief workmen would not want servants, nor masters slaves" (book 1, chap. 4; trans. Benjamin Jowett).

588.2] Diderot: Denis Diderot (1713-84), French writer who attempted to encompass all knowledge in his famous encyclopedia.

588.37] Robert the Bruce: Robert I, called "the Bruce" (his family name), king of Scotland from 1306 to 1329. Gaddis described him to his Italian translator as "a Scottish hero said to have watched a spider trying to build a web as he prepared for battle, on spider's 3rd try at hanging web it succeeded & Bruce took it as a sign to proceed with battle (which of course he won)."

589.2] seize the day: from the last line of Horace's 11th ode, book 1; also the title of a novella by Saul Bellow.

594.20] shuttle would weave [...] to guide them: see 585.22.

594.22] how for art's sake Wilde had faced Leadville's bullies: see 288.45.

597.16] jumping for joy in the womb Mary visiting Elisa: see Luke 1:40-44.

597.42] Cruden's Concordance: a standard Bible reference book, used by Gaddis in all of his novels.

604.11] Pater's recipe for success in life: "To burn always with this hard, gemlike flame, to maintain this ecstasy, is success in life" (The Renaissance, "Conclusion")(ODQ).

604.28] mildewed chump think Crane call Wilde: Crane's first biographer Thomas Beer records this observation from a letter on the London literary scene in Stephen Crane: A Study in American Letters (New York: Knopf, 1923), 327.

605.20] laughing string [...] place of stone: see 131.3.

606.30] Old Foes With New Faeces: Gaddis later published an essay entitled "Old Foes with New Faces" (Yale Review, 1995), in which he explains his title is taken from Charles Kingsley's novel Hypatia, or New Foes with an Old Face (1853).

606.37] strip you naked tear you up with oyster shells: the fate of Hypatia in Kingsley's novel. Also see Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Chapter XLVII: 'Ecclesiastical Discord': "On a fatal day, in the holy season of Lent, Hypatia was torn from her chariot, stripped naked, dragged to the church, and inhumanly butchered by the hands of Peter the reader, and a troop of savage and merciless fanatics: her flesh was scraped from her bones with sharp cyster shells, and her quivering limbs were delivered to the flames. The just progress of inquiry and punishment was stopped by seasonable gifts; but the murder of Hypatia has imprinted an indelible stain on the character and religion of Cyril of Alexandria." [JS/SM]

606.46] Taine write your jacket blurb: see 486.6.

607.7] too late [...] fairies spent it: see 488.2-4?

608.4] Bruckner's eighth symphony: in c minor (1887); the notes are from the scherzo.

Scene 72 (610.10-631.37)
96th Street apartment
Eigen arrives next morning, finds Rhoda in bathtub and Gibbs gone; Amy calls (612); Eigen makes pass at Rhoda, who soon leaves for Pecci's publicity stunt. Eigen answers phone calls until Gibbs returns with Freddie (Amy's older, retarded brother and Gibbs's classmate); Gibbs learns he may have leukemia (622). Federal marshal arrives with process servers (627). Bast arrives, but Gibbs warns him to leave; Eigen leaves.

614.2] neater sweeter maiden: see 494.29.

614.45] what the young man from Racine invented [...] to fit either sex: "There was a young man from Racine / Who invented a fucking machine; / Concave or convex, / It would fit either sex, / And was perfectly simple to clean."

615.4] Beefy face and grubby hand: also from Kipling's "Mandalay": "Tho' I walks with fifty 'ousemaids outer Chelsea to the Strand, / An' they talks a lot o' lovin', but wot do they understand? / Beefy face an' grubby 'and— / Law! Wot do they understand? / I've got a neater, sweeter maiden in a cleaner, greener land!"

618.35] Bob Jones U: an ultra-conservative, anti-Catholic, quasi-racist school in South Carolina.

619.14] Gluck's Orfeo [...] Che faro senza Euridice: see 235.2; "What will I do without Eurydice?" Orfeo sings in his famous aria in the fourth act.

619.41] David Smith: American sculptor (1906-64), one of the first to work in welded metals.

621.13] Hart Crane there is a world dimensional for those untwisted [...] the world dimen: from the American poet's (1899-1932) "For the Marriage of Faustus and Helen" (1923): "There is the world dimensional for / those untwisted by the love of things / irreconcilable . . ." (ll. 16-18).

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

622.23] that great line of Pascal's about toothache: Blaise Pascal's (1623-1662) only mathematical work produced after retiring was the essay on the cycloid, the curve traced by a point on the circumference of a rolling circle, in 1658. He was suffering from sleeplessness and toothache when the idea occurred to him, and to his surprise his teeth immediately ceased to ache. Regarding this as a divine intimation to proceed with the problem, he worked incessantly for eight days at it, and completed a tolerably full account of the geometry of the cycloid, solving the problem of the area of any segment of the cycloid and the center of gravity of any segment; he also solved the problems of the volume and surface area of the solid of revolution formed by rotating the cycloid about the x-axis. This and more about Pascal here
and here
http://www.math.wichita.edu/history/men/pascal.html  [VH]

626.17] Tolstoy play [...] the world will have to understand all by itself: from Redemption; assuming the protagonist Fedya is about to shoot himself, the drunkard Ivan Petrovich enthusiastically proclaims: "You will kill yourself that two people should pity you; and I—I shall kill myself that the whole world should understand what it has lost. I won't hesitate, or think about it! I seize it [snatches revolver]—now! And all is over. But it is too soon yet. [Lays down revolver] Nor shall I write anything; they must understand it themselves"—act 4, sc. 1; trans. Louise and Aylmer Maude.

627.3] vea pasar los cadáveres de sus enemigos: from the Spanish proverb "El que se sienta en la puerta de su casa vera pasar el cadáver de su enemigo" (He who sits at the door of his house will see his enemy's corpse carried by).

627.23] Boswell Sisters doing Down on the Delta [...] Muddy water used to be my playground: a hit for the New Orleans singing trio, popular in the 1930s.

627.31] Jack be quiet […] jump over the: a popular Mother Goose rhyme.

629.40] Broch [...] Schlafwandler: Herman Broch's (1886-1951) trilogy of novels The Sleepwalkers (1931-32; Eng. trans. 1932). Critic Theodore Ziolkowski writes: "According to Broch, sleepwalkers are people living between vanishing and emerging ethical systems, just as the somnambulist exists in a state between sleeping and waking. The trilogy portrays three representative cases of ‘loneliness of the I' stemming from the collapse of any sustaining system of values" ("In Search of the Absolute Novel," New York Times Book Review, 3 November 1985, 14). See 724.35.

630.3] the Scungilli brothers: Possibly refers to the Flying Scungilli Brothers, a band which had a reunion tour in 2000. [VH] 

630.4] Infinite riches in a little room, Merchant of Venice: actually, from Christopher Marlowe's The Jew of Malta (ODQ).

631.11] he was on the threshold of great things [...] the overcast sky: a cluster of quotations from Heart of Darkness (see 408.13). Kurtz pleads, "I was on the threshold of great things" and in the same paragraph Marlow says of him, "He had kicked himself loose of the earth. Confound the man! he had kicked the very earth to pieces" (Norton Critical Edition, 2nd ed. [1971], 67). Marlow feels "it was written I should be loyal to the nightmare of my choice" (65-66), and earlier, finding himself "lumped along with Kurtz as a partisan of methods for which the time was not ripe," Marlow had said, "Ah! but it was something to have at least a choice of nightmares" (63; cf. 69: "It is strange how I accepted this unforeseen partnership, this choice of nightmares forced upon me in the tenebrous land invaded by these mean and greedy phantoms"). The references to "the lofty drawing room her pale face floating toward you [...] give her something to live with" are from Marlow's interview with Kurtz's Intended on the final pages of the novella (see the earlier reference on J R 408). After learning of Kurtz's death, Marlow says, "I remain to dream the nightmare out to the end, and to show my loyalty to Kurtz once more" (71), and the novella ends with a reference to "an overcast sky" (79).

Scene 73 (631.37-635.36)
Outside 96th Street apartment
Bast runs into J R (there with his classmates on another school trip), then Brisboy, who buttonholes him for a frantic talk.

634.12] gentlemen of the press [...] Kipling [...] If: "If" is probably Kipling's best-known poem. The term "gentlemen of the press" antedates Kipling—Disraeli used it in an 1853 speech—but in his poem "The Press" Kipling shares Brisboy's disdain.

635.23] Kindertotenlieder: "Songs of the Dead Children" (1905), a song cycle by Gustave Mahler. 

Scene 74 (635.37-653.2)
Manhattan to Massapequa
Bast and J R talk (during a limousine ride) of the Indian uprising; J R tells Bast he's been fired (639); from Penn Station take train home, during which J R tells Bast how everything is falling apart; reads "profile" to a sleeping (and ailing) Bast; arrive in Massapequa.

643.24] somebody Fisher dishcloth: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (1925- ), German baritone. He sings the role of Jesus on the 1970 Archiv Produktion recording of Bach's 21st cantata that Bast and J R listen to later (see 654.36 below).

646.22] Greenspan: i.e., Grynszpan, but J R's pronunciation suggests Gaddis had in mind Allan Greenspan (1926- ), President Nixon's economic advisor (1968-74) during the period Gaddis was writing this novel.

647.32] greasy eminence: from "eminence grise," someone exercising unsuspected or unofficial power.

650.16] music hath charms to soothe the savage dot dot dot: from Congreve's play The Mourning Bride (ODQ).

650.19] Harry Bosch: cf. Hieronymus Bosch (1450?-1516), Dutch painter, whose Seven Deadly Sins figures prominently in The Recognitions.

652.32] what works:
James's pragmatism in a nutshell; see 581.26.

Scene 75 (653.3-663.37)
J R walks Bast home; ill, Bast pauses at the Marine Memorial, where J R plays tapes, including Bach's 21st cantata, which Bast forces him to listen to; J R wants to continue talking business, but Bast outwalks him.

654.36] ja ach ja ich bin verlor [...] nein du hassest mich: from Bach's tragic 21st cantata Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis (I have suffered greatly); section 8 is a dialogue between the soul (soprano) and Jesus (bass):

Die Seele:
Komm, mein Jesu, und rquicke
Und erfreu mit deinem
Diese Seele,
Die soll sterben

Und nicht leben

Und in ihrer Unglückshöhle
Ganz verderben
Ich muss stets in Kummer schweben,

Ja, ach ja, ich bin verloren!

Nein, ach nein, du hassest ich!

Ach Jesu, durchsüsse mir eele und Herze!
Komm, mein Jesu, und rquicke
Mich mit deinem nadenblicke!

Come, my Jesus, and revive

And gladden with thy regard
My soul,
It must die

And live no more

And in its vale of sorrow
Completely perish.
I am doomed to live in anguish,
Yes, indeed I am lost!

No, indeed no, thou hatest me.
Ah, Jesus, refresh my soul and heart!
Come, my Jesus, and revive ye
With thy merciful favor.

Ja, ich komme und erquicke
Dich mit meinem Gnadenblicke
Deine Seele,
Die soll leben

Und nicht sterben

Hier aus dieser Wundenhöhle

Sollst du erben

Heil durch diesen Saft der Reben,

Nein, ach nein, du bist erkoren!

Ja, ach ja, ich liebe dich!

Entweichet, ihr Sorgen, verschwinde, du Schmerze!

Ja, ich komme und erquicke

Dich mit meinem Gnadenblicke.

Lo, I come to revive

With merciful regard
Thy soul.
It shall live
And not die.

From this vale of pain

Thou shalt inherit

Salvation through this wine
No, no indeed, thou art saved!
Yes, indeed I love thee
Banish sorrows, vanish care,
I come to revive thee
With my merciful favor.

658.4] To make you hear! to make you, to make you feel to try to ...  cf. the Preface to Joseph Conrad's The Nigger of the Narcissus: [JS]

The sincere endeavour to accomplish that creative task, to go as far on that road as his strength will carry him, to go undeterred by faltering, weariness or reproach, is the only valid justification for the worker in prose. And if his conscience is clear, his answer to those who, in the fulness of a wisdom which looks for immediate profit, demand specifically to be edified, consoled, amused; who demand to be promptly improved, or encouraged, or frightened, or shocked, or charmed, must run thus: -- My task which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel -- it is, before all, to make you see. That -- and no more, and it is everything. If I succeed, you shall find there according to your deserts: encouragement, consolation, fear, charm -- all you demand; and, perhaps, also that glimpse of truth for which you have forgotten to ask.

661.23] signs you can't bring any fresh ones in the cemetery: cf. Agnes Deigh's letter in The Recognitions:   "It is forbidden to enter the garden with flowers in the hand. That was a sign in french at the gate of a french garden, you see, and read it well and you will understand" (759). This notice posted at the entrance to the public garden in Tarbes in southern France—to prevent people from stealing the garden's flowers and then claiming to have brought them—is the subject of an allegory that frames Jean Paulhan's Les fleurs de Tarbes (1941); Maurice Blanchot's review of this critical work led to an important debate in France on the status of literature.

663.1] Billy Grahey: evangelist Billy Graham (1918-    ).

transition (663.37-664.2)
Windy Massapequa terrain.

Scene 76 (664.3-669.37)
Coen picks up Bast, both looking for the Bast house (which has been moved), and drives him to hospital in Manhattan.

667.9] Rain or hail fire or snow rift the hills and roll the: see 142.20.

667.14] Trib [...] Burmesquik where they make the crooked: see 42.l6.

667.28] Soothe the savage dot dot dot: see 650.16.

667.28] wed some savage woman she will: see 280.39.

Scene 77 (669.37-670.18)
Manhattan hospital, room 319
Bast admitted to same hospital Angel is in, and where Nurse Waddams (formerly of J R's school) now works; Bast sleeps for several days.

667.38] Handel's Jephtha: an oratorio (based on Judges 11), first performed at Covent Garden in 1752

667.39] the soprano here was singing get away! from Jephthah's daughter Iphis's air "Happy they! this vital breath with content I shall resign" from Händel's ortatorio. [AZ]

Scene 78 (670.19-674.25)
Bast, now awake (but still delirious), has Duncan for a roommate, who brings him up-to-date via newspapers.

670.28] ancient founts: Tennyson's "Locksley Hall," l. 188.

671.10] the dreary moorland: "Locksley Hall," l. 40.

673.42] The Red Mill by Victor Herbert: a 1906 light opera by the Irish-American conductor and composer (1859-1924). Given Vogel's sexual proclivities, Peter Wolfe suggests the selection is "Every Day Is Ladies' Day with Me."

Scene 79 (674.26-687.22)
Coen visits Bast (while Duncan interrupts him); Bast writes a piece for solo cello while Coen talks; Duncan given an enema, after which he deteriorates rapidly.

678.14] There is increasing evidence [...] wrote Doctor James Carey: from James Carey's The College Drug Scene (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1968), 178. {Identified by Scott Simmon in his dissertation "The Ulysses Tradition," 159—but see if taken from a NYT article or review of the book}

682.29] Corpus Juris: Corpus Juris Secundum, an encyclopedia of U.S. law, begun in 1936 and updated periodically.

683.39] the Perdinalies: apparently a typo for the Pedernales, a river and park area in Texas.

683.39] hand you a world bank: a reference to President Johnson's Secretary of Defense during the Vietnam war, Robert McNamara (1916- ), as Gaddis's essay "The Rush for Second Place" indicates (RSP 50-51).

684.23] Mark Twain a politician's an ass everything's sat on except a man: not by Twain but a two-line poem by e. e. cummings: "a politician is an arse upon / which everyone has sat except a man" (in 1 x 1, 1944).

684.38] Haymarket riots: occurred in Chicago on 4 May 1886 as the result of a mass protest against the killing of strikers by police.

685.42] just wanted everybody to like him: Lyndon B. Johnson: see "The Rush for Second Place," 35-36.

686.20] eye of a needle: from Matthew 19:24.

687.8] for Alise: Beethoven's "Für Elise," a bagatelle dating from 1808.

Scene 80 (687.23-688.29)
Bast feels better next day, but discovers Duncan died during the night.

687.36] just doing [...] you wouldn't be anybody: similar to a passage from Evelyn Waugh's novel Vile Bodies quoted in "The Rush for Second Place"; needs checking.

Scene 81 (688.29-712.44)
Hospital, room 311
Cates (in for a heart transplant), Beaton, and Zona Selk talk business while staff preps Cates for operation. Reader learns that diCephalis is lost in Teletravel transmission (engineered by Vogel), that Amy married Dick Cutler, that Ann diCephalis posed for the cover of the new magazine She, and that Crawley sold Bast's film music for $60,000. Beaton lets the fourth dividend go undeclared to allow Amy to gain control of both Foundations; Beaton walks out as both Cates and Zona suffer attacks (the latter Beaton's own doing).

690.13] Berengaria: an ocean liner of the Cunard Line; sold for scrap in 1938.

692.12] what the pound's been through [...] some damn dead poet: Ezra Pound died 1 November 1972. This and the reference to Kennecott's troubles on p. 214 place the novel in the fall of 1972.

698.9] Bitterroot strike: an 1890 conflict between unionized miners and unscrupulous owners in Montana.

700.28] Custer's last: see 310.37.

700.42] Mickeysuckies: i.e., the Mikasuki (or Miccosukee), a division of the Seminole tribe of Native Americans.

702.39] Eisen ruling: a Supreme Court decision handed down in June 1974. Here's a short article on its significance that appeared in Time magazine (10 June 1974), perhaps Gaddis's source, under the title "Taking Mass from Class":

"Class actions have sprouted and multiplied like the leaves of the green bay tree," groused Federal Appeals Judge Harold Medina in 1973. He had just heard one of the numerous appeals that have marked the course of the undisputed king of mass class actions: the complex lawsuit brought by New York Shoe Salesman Morton Eisen on behalf of all persons who had bought or sold odd lots of stock (less than 100 shares) on the New York Stock Exchange between 1962 and 1966. Last week, eight years after Eisen was first filed, the Supreme Court handed down a final ruling on the suit -- and effectively defoliated Medina's bay tree. From now on, class actions on behalf of large numbers of plaintiffs who have each suffered similar small losses will have practically no chance of succeeding.

In his suit, Eisen claimed that the two brokerage firms then in control of odd-lot trading -- Carlisle & Jacquelin and DeCoppet & Doremus -- had engaged in illegal price-fixing that slightly increased the fee for each transaction. Eisen figured that he himself was only entitled to $70 in damages, but the total possible damage award to the likely 2 million other potential members of the class was estimated to be at least $7.8 million. Eisen's problem was to satisfy a judge that the huge, unwieldy group of odd-lot traders could be managed under precise rules authorized by Congress. Those rules were designed to ensure that all potential members of a class actually share the same interest. One key provision: each class member must be notified about the suit so that he may opt out or hire a lawyer to represent his viewpoint.

Bad Burden. With millions of possible Eisen members, it was little wonder that one judge pronounced the suit a "Frankenstein monster posing as a class action." Lower courts ruling on Eisen's suit did seek to interpret the rules as liberally as possible so that narrow technicalities would not derail an otherwise valid consumer claim. But the Supreme Court Justices last week concluded unanimously that the plaintiff had to give individual notice to "all class members who can be identified with reasonable effort." The requirement, said Justice Lewis Powell for the court, "is not a discretionary consideration to be waived in a particular case." Furthermore, said Powell, the plaintiff must bear the costs of notification.

The twin requirements impose a crushing burden. For Eisen, such costs could come to $272,000. If he were later to win, he could recover that expense as well as damages, but the initial outlay would have been prohibitive for a shoe salesman who makes $300 a week.

The ruling still leaves open the possibility of smaller class actions, in which there are fewer and more easily accessible members. But the complex legal issues involved in many class actions often mean lawyers' fees that only a large number of plaintiffs can afford. "In a sense," says Attorney Raymond Bonner of Public Citizens Litigation Group, "what's happened here is that it's better for business to cheat a million people out of a dollar each than to cheat one person out of $1 million." Which is to say that suits like Eisen's, which have attacked hotel overcharges, credit-card finance charges and preferential air-fare charges for youths, are now apparently out of the question for all but the very wealthy.

707.4] K four six six [...] a concerto of Mozart's: see 43.28.

711.5] Coxey's Army: American businessman and politician Jacob Coxey (1854-1951) twice led groups of the unemployed, nicknamed Coxey's Army, to Washington, D.C., to demonstrate for legislation for funds to pay the unemployed for work on public improvements (1894 and 1914).

712.37] to throw p v c's: premature ventricular contractions, indicating heart problems.

Scene 82 (712.45-719.15)
Hospital, room 319
Beaton throws up in men's room; Bast offers to help, then meets with Coen in his room, who tells him his aunts have moved back to Indiana; Stella joins the conversation (714) and, when Coen steps out of the room, the cousins confront each other with the past. All three leave the hospital with Stella firmly in control.

716.15] her bosom shaken by a sudden storm of sighs: see 69.25

Scene 83 (719.15-726.40)
96th Street apartment
Stella and Bast take a cab up to the apartment; she waits in cab as Bast finds Eigen retrieving his papers (now keeping company with Mrs. Schramm). Gibbs in back apartment reading Broch's Sleepwalkers to Schepperman; Bast leaves to escort Freddie to Amy's apartment. J R phones for Bast, and as Eigen leaves for Mrs. Schramm's, talks through the dangling phone about his new plans for public life

723.2] Minuet in G: see 498.39.

724.35] Broch's Sleepwalkers, been on page thirty-five: see 629.40. On page 35 of the standard English translation (by Willa and Edwin Muir), the protagonist attends a performance of Gounod's Faust and broods of the resemblance between brothers and sisters.

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