|A Reader's Guide
to William Gaddis's The Recognitions
III.1 pp. pages 723-732
723. epigraph] "There are many Manii at Aricia": a proverb that Frazer explains as follows (GB 491-92):
Certain loaves made in the shape of men were called by the Romans maniae, and it appears this kind of loaf was especially made at Aricia [in Italy]. Now, Mania, the name of one of these loaves, was also the name of the Mother or Grandmother of Ghosts, to whom woollen effigies of men and women were dedicated at the festival of the Compitalia. [...] The tradition that the founder of the sacred grove at Aricia was a man named Manius, from whom many Manii were descended, would thus be an etymological myth invented to explain the name maniae as applied to these sacramental loaves.
Gaddis compounds the pun below with mani, a Spanish-American word meaning peanut.
723.4] Tibieza de Dios: I doubt any city is actually called the Tepidity (or Lukewarmness) of God.
725.18] the quiet limit of the world: from Tennyson's "Tithonus," l. 7.
726.22] Crassus: Marcus Licinius Crassus (115?-53 B.C.), surnamed Dives ("the Rich"), Roman financier and politician. After Crassus was beheaded in battle, the Parthian king Orodes made an example of his avarice by pouring molten gold down his throat.
730.30] ravin in tooth and claw: see 412.39.
731.36] Do you hear noises in your ear? [...] Ménière's disease: "a form of auditory vertigo, first described in 1861. [...] The attack usually sets in with dizziness, noises in the ear, nausea, vomiting and staggering gait, and the patient may suddenly fall down unconscious" (EB 15:249).
732.15] Doctor Fell: see 42.19.