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Agapé Agape
Annotations by Steven Moore
with other contributors noted in brackets

Gaddis’s Principal Sources

Benjamin, Walter. “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” In Illuminations: Essays and Reflections. Ed. Hannah Arendt. Trans. Harry Zohn. NY: Schocken, 1969. 217-51.

Bernhard, Thomas. Concrete. Trans. David McLintock. 1984. Chicago: U Chicago P, 1986.
-----. Correction. Trans. Sophie Wilkins. NY: Knopf, 1979.
------. The Loser. Trans. Jack Dawson. NY; Knopf, 1991.

Buchner, Alexander. Mechanical Musical Instruments. Trans. Iris Urwin. London: Batchworth Press, 1954? (The trumpeter on the dust jacket of AA is taken from this book, plate 49.)

Dodds, E. R. The Greeks and the Irrational. Berkeley: U California P, 1951.

Flaubert, Gustave. The Letters of Gustave Flaubert, 1857-1880. Ed. and trans. by Francis Steegmuller. Cambridge: Belknap/Harvard U P, 1982.

Giedion, Siegfried. Mechanization Takes Command. Oxford U P, 1948.

Huizinga, Johan. Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture. 1938. English trans. (anonymous) 1949; rpt. Boston: Beacon, 1955.

Loesser, Arthur. Men, Women and Pianos: A Social History. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1954.

ODQ: The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. Oxford U P, 1949.

Plato. The Dialogues of Plato. Trans. Benjamin Jowett. NY: Random House, 1937.

Roehl, Harvey N. Player Piano Treasury: The Scrapbook History of the Mechanical Piano in America. 2nd ed. Vestal, NY: 1973. Substantially the same as the 1st ed. of 1961, which Gaddis probably used, reformatted for greater readability and with an index added.

Troyat, Henri. Tolstoy. Trans. Nancy Amphoux. 1965. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1967.

Weir, Albert E. The Piano: Its History, Makers, Players and Music. London & NY: Longmans, Green, 1940. (Weir devotes only a few pages to the player piano, and nearly all his information is derived from Alfred Dolge’s pioneering book Pianos and Their Makers [1911].)

Wiener, Norbert. The Human Use of Human Beings: Cybernetics and Society. 1950; rev. ed., Garden City, NY: Doubleday Anchor, 1954.

Other References

Chapuis, Alfred, and Edmond Droz. Automata: A Historical and Technological Study. Trans. Alec Reid. Neuchâtel, Switzerland: Éditions du Griffon, 1958.

Rosenberg, Jerry M. The Computer Prophets. NY: Macmillan, 1969. On the roles played by Pascal, Leibniz, Babbage, Jacquard, and Hollerith in the development of the computer.

“Gaddis’s notes” refer to his 135-page chronological survey of the history of the player piano from 1876 to 1929 and related notes on social and cultural matters. A sample page is reproduced on J R 587, and an abridged version is printed as an appendix in The Rush for Second Place (RSP). Gaddis’s other novels are abbreviated R, JR, CG, and FHO.

title] Agapé Agape: agapé is Greek for “brotherly love” and was used by early Christian writers first as a term to describe their “love feasts” (see p. 37) and later to distinguish communal, altruistic love from eros, sexual love. Regarding the pronunciation of the word, cf. this exchange between Rhoda and Gibbs in J R:

—And I mean this is the name of the book agape agape? that’s the name of it?
—Can’t, look pe mark right over the God damned e pi eta pe agape can’t see God damn it? pi eta pe?
—Man like who’s supposed to know piéta I mean . . .
—Didn’t Christ! didn’t say pietà whole God damned different [...] Whole God damned point doesn’t matter why agape’s agape [...] (604-5).

Currently, especially in the U.S., agape is pronounced ahgahpay, but in Greek and in the U.K., it is pronounced ahgahpee.

2.15] Byron: Lord Byron (1788-1824) attained celebrity in 1812 with the publication of the first two cantos of Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, and thereafter was as famous for his scandalous lifestyle as for his poetry. See 67-68 below.

2.17] Newtonian world: Wiener describes this world in the opening pages of his preface (7-8), i.e., “a universe in which everything happened precisely according to law, a compact, tightly organized universe in which the whole future depends strictly upon the whole past. . . . The Newtonian view, however, was compelled to state and formulate physics as if it were, in fact, subject to such laws. This is now no longer the dominating view of physics. . . .”

2.20] aporia: literally “impassable path”: a term used in deconstruction criticism, especially in Jacques Derrida’s theory of différance, to indicate an impasse or conflict between rhetoric and thought. In his 1987 book on Derrida, Christopher Norris defined this aspect of deconstruction as “the seeking-out of those ‘aporias,’ blindspots or moments of self-contradiction where a text involuntarily betrays the tension between rhetoric and logic, between what it manifestly means to say and what it is nonetheless constrained to mean.” Gaddis discovered this word in Michiko Kakutani’s review of historian Gertrude Himmelfarb’s On Looking into the Abyss, New York Times, 1 March 1984, C19; Kakutani quotes Himmelfarb’s synoyms for the word: “difference, discontinuity, disparity, contradiction, discord, ambiguity, irony, paradox, perversity, opacity, obscurity, anarchy, chaos.” Cf. RSP 92.

2.23] clock without the clockmaker: an old argument for the existence of God: if the universe functioned like a clock (per Newtonian physics), there had to be a clockmaker behind it.

2.24] Kierkegaard’s insane Knight of Belief: Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (1813-55) proposed three “spheres of existence”: the aesthetic, the ethical, and the religious, and the highest example of the latter is the Knight of Faith, someone who, like Abraham, has an unqualified, even irrational belief in God (see his Fear and Trembling).

2.25] Pascal’s famous wager: from the posthumously published Pensées of Blaise Pascal (1623-62), French philosopher and scientist. The wager was on whether or not God existed (section 233 in older editions).

2.25] in a world where everyone is “so necessarily mad ... another form of madness”: Pensées, section 414, in W. F. Trotter’s translation (which was used in most English editions until recently).

3.3] artist Plato warned us about: in book 10 of Plato’s Republic, Socrates states “we shall be right in refusing to admit [the artist] into a well-ordered State, because he awakens and nourishes and strengthens the feelings and impairs the reason. . . . he is a manufacturer of images and is very far removed from the truth” (10:605b).

3.5] Huizinga on Plato: see pp. 159-62 of Homo Ludens, where Huizinga notes Plato regarded music as play, not serious work.

3.7] the Phrygian mode ... Lydian and the Ionian: see Republic 3.398-99. This passage is also quoted by Friedrich in his biography of Glenn Gould (see 37.21), p. 124.

3.15] Seeking pleasure and avoiding pain: the most basic characteristics of human beings according to Bentham; see 4.5 below.

3.15] beyond the pleasure principle. My golden Sigi his mother always called him: Sigmund Freud’s Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1920; Eng. trans. 1922) is a short but key work in which Freud examines drives and instincts, especially the death instinct. In his Freud: The Man and the Cause (Cape, 1980), Ronald W. Clark notes: “To his mother he was ‘my golden Sigi,’ the youth of which so much was expected” (18-19).

3.17] Emerson ... mothers made us: in his essay “Fate” Emerson writes: “Men are what their mothers made them” (The Conduct of Life, 1860). Cf. Gaddis’s essay “Mothers.”

3.18] “Pleasure ... children” ... Plato’s Laws Book II: Laws 2.653.

3.22] “I subscribe ... most of them are trash”: in a letter dated 9 October 1918 to the Swiss pastor and psychoanalyst Oskar Pfister (1873-1956), Freud wrote: “I do not break my head very much about good and evil, but I have found little that is ‘good’ about human beings on the whole. In my experience most of them are trash, no matter whether they publicly subscribe to this or that ethical doctrine or to none at all. . . . If we are to talk of ethics, I subscribe to a high ideal from which most of the human beings I have come across depart most lamentably” (Psychoanalysis and Faith: The Letters of Sigmund Freud and Oskar Pfister, ed Heinrich Meng and Ernst L. Freud [London: Hogarth, 1963], 61-62).

4.5] Bentham ... the same”: Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), English jurist and philosopher; the famous quotation is from his The Rationale of Reward (1825) as misquoted by John Stuart Mill in his essay “Bentham” (London and Westminster Review, 1838). Mill quotes Bentham as saying “somewhere in his works” that, “quantity of pleasure being equal, push-pin is as good as poetry,” whereas Bentham wrote, “Prejudice apart, the game of push-pin is of equal value with the arts and sciences of music and poetry.” Echoing Plato and anticipating Tolstoy (as quoted later in AA), Bentham goes on to say: “If the game of push-pin furnish more pleasure, it is more valuable than either. Everybody can play at push-pin: poetry and music are relished only by a few. The game of push-pin is always innocent: it were well could the same be always asserted of poetry. Indeed, between poetry and truth there is natural opposition: false morals and fictitious nature. The poet always stands in need of something false. When he pretends to lay his foundations in truth, the ornaments of his superstructure are fictions; his business consists in stimulating our passions, and exciting our prejudices. Truth, exactitude of every kind, is fatal to poetry. The poet must see everything through coloured media, and strive to make every one else do the same. It is true, there have been noble spirits, to whom poetry and philosophy have been equally indebted; but these exceptions do not counteract the mischiefs which have resulted from this magic art. If poetry and music deserve to be preferred before a game of push-pin, it must be because they are calculated to gratify those individuals who are most difficult to be pleased.”

4.9] the all-or-none machine Norbert Wiener called it: see Wiener 64.

4.11] Wiener tells us about a brilliant American engineer: Downplaying American “know-how,” Wiener says it’s more important to have “know-what,” or purpose: “I can distinguish between the two by an example. Some years ago, a prominent American engineer bought an expensive player-piano. It became clear after a week or two that this purchase did not correspond to any particular interest in the music played by the piano but rather to an overwhelming interest in the piano mechanism. For this gentleman, the player-piano was not a means of producing music, but a means of giving some inventor the chance of showing how skillful he was at overcoming certain difficulties in the production of music. This is an estimable attitude in a second-year high-school student. How estimable it is in one of those on whom the whole cultural future of the country depends, I leave to the reader” (183).

4.14] Pushkin: Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin (1799-1837), Russia’s greatest poet.

4.23] 40,000 ... 200,000 ten years later: these figures are rounded off from charts on pp. 51 and 53 of Roehl’s Player Piano Treasury.

4.25] daughters of music were brought low: from Ecclesiastes 12:4.

5.2] three ways one for each daughter: as King Lear intended; at an earlier stage of composition Gaddis planned to base AA on Shakespeare’s tragedy. Traces remain throughout the finished novella.

5.6] the year the player piano came into being ... its own received it not: in John McTammany’s autobiographical History of the Player (1913), he claims the idea for the instrument came to him while fighting in the Civil War. After ten years of work, he unveiled the first model in 1876. Thereafter he had trouble convincing people he was the true inventor of the player piano: “Like Christ,” he wrote (adapting John 1.11), “it came unto its own, but its own received it not.”

5.9] Willard Gibbs: American physicist Josiah Willard Gibbs (1839-1903). Gaddis named a major character in J R after him.

5.13] his papers on statistical physics in 1876: i.e., “On the Equilibrium of Heterogeneous Substances,” a forbiddingly difficult essay whose importance wasn’t recognized for years.

5.17] Einstein or Planck or Heisenberg: important German physicists of the 20th century. Wiener: “But for all these gaps it is, I am convinced, Gibbs rather than Einstein or Planck or Heisenberg to whom we must attribute the first great revolution of twentieth century physics” (10).

6.10] aporia ... a game they played, the Greeks: “The Greeks were very fond of the aporia as a parlour-game, i.e., the propounding of questions impossible to answer conclusively” (Homo Ludens 111).

6.24] first public demonstration ... Philo T Farnsworth in 1927: American inventor (1906-71) who, at the age of 20, invented television by being the first to transmit a video image.

7.3] Coming events cast their shadows: from British poet Thomas Campbell’s “Lochiel’s Warning”: “ ’Tis the sunset of life gives me mystical lore, / And coming events cast their shadows before” (ODQ).

7.10] Huizinga ... is play”: Huizinga quotes this passage from Plato’s Laws (2:667e) on p. 160 of Homo Ludens; his remarks on little children and animals are from p. 159.

8.7] Vaucanson’s duck: Jacques de Vaucanson (1709-82), French inventor who made many improvements to silk-weaving machinery; he created several automatons, the most famous being an ingenious duck and a mechanical flute player: see Buchner 85-86, also Giedion 34-35.

8.10] water organs Hero of Alexandria made: Greek scientist and engineer of the 3rd century, a polymath who invented many mechanical devices, including an organ powered by water.

8.12] living statues on the island of Rhodes Pindar talks about: “We may find many references in the writings of ancient Greece and Rome to automata which imitated the movements of men or animals,” Buchner writes in his introduction to Mechanical Musical Instruments, a major source for Gaddis. “We may quote the living statues of the Island of Rhodes, mentioned by Pindar” (15). Chapuis says of the Greek poet (522?-443 B.C.): “Pindar takes his inspiration from Homer in speaking of the animated statues of the island of Rhodes, famous for its smiths, as also was Crete. He mentions them in some lines, admittedly none too clear, of the 7th Olympiad. The god who is giving light to men, says Pindar, stipulated that an altar be raised to the goddess of the sea-green eyes. She granted them the privilege ‘of triumphing in all the arts over other men, and their roads knew figures like those of living men walking. The art that science engenders knows how to augment and embellish without recourse to deceit.’ The poet contrasts this innocent art with dubious magic” (17).

8.13] artificial trees and singing birds made for the Emperor of Byzantium: Buchner: “In the first half of the ninth century Leo the Philosopher made two automata for the emperor Theophilus Ikonomachus of Byzantium; they included artificial trees and singing birds” (15). The epigraph to chapter 10 of Chapius’s book reads: “In front of the Emperor’s throne stood a tree made of gilded bronze, whose branches were thronged with birds of the same metal, each singing according to his kind. / [from] Narrative of the voyage to Constantinople in 949 by Bishop Lindprand.” (Byzantium became Constantinople in 330, and eventually Istanbul.)

8.16] Charles V’s armed puppets: “About the middle of the sixteenth century the Emperor Charles V constructed a flying wooden sparrow, with the help of Turrian of Cremona; they also devised armed puppets which fought battles and played drums and trumpets” (Buchner 16). Charles V ruled the Holy Roman Empire 1519-56 (and, as Charles I, Spain 1516-56).

8.17] canary made for Marie Antoinette: “Robert Robin of Paris [1742-99] made a life-size singing canary for Marie Antoinette, and placed it in a richly ornamented gilt cage with a clock in the base. At each hour the canary sang one of three variations of a canary song; it could also be made to sing at any time by turning a knob” (Buchner 83).

8.20] Mozart writing music for fluteplaying clocks: Buchner notes that Mozart wrote three pieces for this clockwork-driven musical instrument (17).

8.21] Beethoven’s Wellington’s Victory written for Maelzel’s panharmonicon: German inventor and musician Johann Mälzel (1772-1838) encouraged Beethoven to write this popular piece (1813) for his musical invention the panharmonicon, a forerunner of today’s synthesizer. See Buchner 78-79, Loesser 169.

8.23] rococo Swiss watchmakers ... musical snuff boxes: Buchner 84.

9.2] Vaucanson’s ... beat a drum with the other: Buchner 85.

9.22] Pascal ... digital adding machine: Rosenberg (22ff) notes Pascal’s age and his work on the computer (which could also do multiplication and division, though Gaddis’s next clause implies those were Leibniz’s innovations).

9.24] Leibniz: Gottfried von Leibniz (1646-1716), German philosopher and mathematician; see Rosenberg, chap. 2.

9.25] Babbage and his Difference Engine: British mathematician Charles Babbage (1792-1871) adopted the punched cards of Jacquard’s loom (see below) to build an “analytical engine,” a mechanical progenitor of the digital computer; see Rosenberg, chap. 3.

10.4] Jacquard’s loom: French inventor Joseph Marie Jacquard (1752-1834) built the first successful loom for weaving fabrics; using a system of punched cards to produce a pattern, it was a forerunner of the computer: see Rosenberg 106-9. Loesser notes the loom’s relevance to the player piano (580).

10.7] Flaubert ... strikes him?”: among the questions Flaubert asked of Jules Duplan for background to his novel Sentimental Education (Letters 118).

10.23] same principle Vaucanson used: the technical details are from Buchner 85-86.

11.19] “From March ... to fruition”: from the opening page of Thomas Bernhard’s 1982 novel Concrete, about the difficulties a musicologist named Rudolf experiences trying to write book on composer Felix Mendelssohn.

12.25] Phidias: Greek sculptor of the 5th century B.C., known for his colossal statues.

12.25] For me ... Nietzsche: a quotation from Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra that Gaddis first used in R (149.4) and which he found in Jung’s Integration of the Personality (1939).

13.22] German ad 1926 ... truly musical”: though not identified as such, this text appears in an article in a music trade journal reproduced by Roehl (87).

14.13] Plato ... pleasure: in the Gorgias Socrates condemns music that is intended solely for pleasure instead of for “moral improvement” (502a), a passage Gaddis will return to.

14.15] You’re a Dog-gone Daisy Girl: apparently a song for the player-piano (none of the dozen popular song indices I’ve consulted list it); Gaddis used this as the title for the earliest version of AA.

14.16] Plato rhymes with tomato: a mnemonic Gaddis first used in J R.

14.23] “Educator” piano rolls ... with their hands: Roehl 158.

15.1] “You can play ... most”: from an ad in the 17 October 1925 issue of Saturday Evening Post, reproduced in Roehl (23).

15.8] “Retains ... indefinitely”: from an ad for the Air-O-Player piano, reproduced in Roehl (18).

15.14] “and old Handel ... Polonaise”: from an elaborate 4-page, 2-color ad in a 1902 Cosmopolitan by the Aeolian Company, reproduced in Roehl (7). The text of the ad appears in RSP 12.

15.19] Debussy and Grieg giving testimonials: their testimonials for the Welte-Mignon player piano are reproduced in Roehl (63).

15.19] “Many of the artists ... will live forever”: listing a dozen “immortal pianists” who have recorded for them, an ad for Welte-Mignon states: “Many of the artists will never play again, but their phantom hands will live forever through their Welte-Mignon records” (reproduced in Roehl, 86).

15.22] “What stands between you and the music of the masters?”: from a 1914 ad for the Starr player piano, reproduced in Roehl (39)

15.24] “If you were ... by your side?”: from an ad for the Angelus Player-Piano reproduced in Roehl (163). (The “Pilgrims’ Chorus” is from act 3 of Wagner’s opera Tannhäuser [1845].)

16.2] “great Wagner comes ... Ring”: from the Aeolian ad quoted above (Roehl 7).

16.9] “If Beethoven ... pianistic reproduction”: from a 1922 ad for the Apollo Reproducing Piano (Roehl 92).

16.14] Trilby: 1894 novel by George du Maurier (1834-96) about an artists’ model who falls under the hypnotic influence of Svengali. In J R (440.7) Crawley cites it, confusing it with du Maurier’s novel Peter Ibbetson (see 89ff below).

16.15] Johannes Müller ... opera stars’ fees:
“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” (Buchner 16). This ghoulish anecdote is also related in J R (288.5).

16.25] Hofmann and Grieg: Josef Hofmann (1876-1957), Polish piano virtuoso, and Edvard Grieg (1843-1907), Norwegian composer, both recorded piano rolls, as Roehl notes.

17.4] “Discover your unsuspected talent”: from the Saturday Evening Post ad quoted above (Roehl 23).

17.9] “every member of the household may be a performer”: from the Aeolian ad (Roehl 7).

17.16] Kannst du mich ... so schon!: after making his pact with Mephistopheles, Goethe’s Faust vows that “Kannst du mich mit Genuss betrügen” (“If with enjoyment you beguile me”) and he is tempted to say: “Verweile doch! Du bist so schön” (“Abide, you are so fair”)(ll. 1696, 1700), then the devil can take his soul at that moment (trans. Walter Kaufmann).

17.24] O God ... that self who could do more:
see R 322, where Stanley struggles to translate this madrigal by the Italian painter. In The Poetry of Michelangelo: An Annotated Translation (New Haven: Yale U P, 1991), James M. Saslow translates the lines thus:

O God, O God, O God,
Who’s snatched me from myself
so that he might be closer to me [than myself]
or have more power over me than I have?

18.4] what is your book about Mister Joyce?: ?: in his essay on Finnegans Wake Samuel Beckett said Joyce’s “writing is not about something; it is that something itself” (“Dante... Bruno. Vico.. Joyce”). In a 1981 letter to William H. Gass, Gaddis quoted this remark preceded by “Joyce?”

18.11] shoot down ... an airliner full of pleasure seekers: Korean Airlines Flight 007 that drifted off course into Soviet airspace on September 1, 1983 on a flight from Alaska to South Korea and was shot down by a Russian Su-15 Air Force fighter, all 269 persons killed. [AZ]

18.20] Caesar crossing the Apennines: mountain range in central Italy; in 49 B.C. Julius Caesar crossed them and, more famously, the Rubicon river to begin the Second Civil War.

19.11] Huizinga’s kangaroo ... doesn’t know belief from make-believe: see Homo Ludens 25: “When a certain form of religion accepts a sacred identity between two things of a different order, say a human being and an animal, this relationship is not adequately expressed by calling it a ‘symbolical correspondence’ as we conceive this. The identity, the essential oneness of the two goes far deeper than the correspondence between a substance and a symbolic image. It is a mystical unity. The one has become the other. In his magic dance the savage is a kangaroo.”

20.5] Golyadkin: the protagonist of Dostoevsky’s short novel The Double (1846); a neurotic failure, Golyadkin generates a double who is more suave and successful; eventually he is committed to an asylum.

20.6] Zwei Seelen ... Brust ... derber Liebeslust: another famous quotation from the first part of Goethe’s Faust (ll. 1112-17): “Zwei Seelen wohnen, ach, in meiner Brust, / Die eine will sich von der andern trennen: / Die eine hält, in derber Liebeslust . . .” (“Two souls, alas, are dwelling in my breast, / And one is striving to forsake its brother. Unto the world in grossly loving zest, / With clinging tendrils, one adheres; / The other rises forcibly in quest / Of rarefied ancestral spheres”—trans. Walter Kaufman).

20.13] Dodds: E. R. Dodds’s The Greeks and the Irrational (1951), an examination of primitive and irrational forces in ancient Greek culture.

20.13] two piles ... more necessary for my work: cf. Bernhard’s Concrete: “In the end I stacked the books and articles about Mendelssohn Bartholdy in front of me on the table by the window in two piles; one was made up of those books and articles and other papers which were absolutely necessary, the other of those which were not absolutely necessary. At least I thought I knew which of these books and articles and papers would be more necessary for my work than others . . .” (77).

20.22] thinking another man’s thoughts ... deadening myself out of existence: from Bernhard’s 1975 novel Correction; the narrator admits he “sometimes succumbed entirely to these ideas and actions of Roithamer’s,” who had warned him “not to give in to this tendency, because a man who no longer thinks his own thoughts but instead finds himself dominated by the thoughts of another man whom he admires or even if he doesn’t admire him but is only dominated by his thoughts, compulsively, such a man is in constant danger of doing himself in by his continual thinking of the other man’s thoughts, in danger of deadening himself out of existence” (p. 25).

21.20] running through the streets: further echoes of Bernhard’s Concrete (58, 63), whose protagonist remembers running through the streets of Palma (in Majorca).

22.11] the last best friend: a quotation (first used in J R 396) from Robert Southey’s “The Dream” (from Carmen Nuptiale, “The Lay of the Laureate): “My name is Death, the last best friend am I” (ODQ).

22.17] Petrushka: Golyadkin’s servant in The Double; this scene occurs in chap. 8

22.25] Seneca cutting his veins in the bath: Roman philosopher and playwright (4 B.C.-A.D. 65); implicated in a plot to assassinate Nero, the emperor commanded his former teacher to kill himself, which Seneca did in the manner described.

23.7] the detachable self: Dodds discusses the Greek “belief in a detachable soul or self, which by suitable techniques can be withdrawn from the body even during life, a self which is older than the body and will outlast it” (146-47).

23.8] some kind of religious community Pythagoras ... lives to come: almost verbatim from Dodds’s discussion of the 6th-century B.C. Greek philosopher, best known for his theory of the transmigration of souls: “We know at any rate that Pythagoras founded a kind of religious order, a community of men and women whose rule of life was determined by the expectation of lives to come” (144).

23.10] demons ... Homer: Dodds’s first chapter investigates acts of irrational conduct, sometimes attributed to the influence of daemons, in the Iliad.

23.15] belly-talkers ... Aristophanes and Plato: “Plato refers frequently to inspired prophets as a familiar contemporary type,” Dodds notes. “In particular, some sort of private mediumship was practised in the Classical Age, and for long afterwards, by the persons known as ‘belly-talkers,’ and later as ‘pythons.’ I should like to know more about these ‘belly-talkers,’ one of whom, a certain Eurycles, was famous enough to be mentioned both by Aristophanes and by Plato” (71).

23.22] Strabo: Greek geographer (ca. 58 B.C.-A.D. 24). Dodds cites him in various footnotes.

24.14] Plato, what are the soft and drinking harmonies ... unbecoming: in the Republic, Socrates states: “Drunkenness and softness and indolence are utterly becoming the character of our guardians,” then asks of Glaucon: “And which are the soft or drinking harmonies?” (3:398-99).

24.23] banished the Lydian ... complex scales: also from Republic 3:398-99.

25.2] Dodds on the Corybantes: on pp. 77-79 of his book Dodds discusses these attendants on the earth mother Cybele, whose ecstatic rites led to catharsis.

25.3] worse than all the stringed instruments ... Banished from his Republic: “in this composite use of harmony the flute is worse than all the stringed instruments put together,” Socrates argues in the Republic (3:399d), and thus flutes are to be banished from his ideal state. In the Gorgias Socrates condemns flute-playing as “an art which seeks only pleasure” (501e).

25.7] Crito ... flute humming in his ears: after expressing the voice of “the law” regarding his death sentence, Socrates concludes: “This, dear Crito, is the voice which I seem to hear murmuring in my ears, like the sound of the flute in the ears of the mystic; that voice, I say, is humming in my ears, and prevents me from hearing any other” (54d).

25.18] automatons the Turkish lady in four languages: “Josef Faber’s talking Turkish Woman, who could sing as well as say whole sentences in different languages, was considered by contemporary experts to be a triumph of human ingenuity and one of the most remarkable inventions of his time” (Buchner 16).

25.20] Galen’s patient ... a flute is played at a party: in a footnote to his discussion of Corybantic rites, Dodds writes: “The emotional significance of flute-music is illustrated in a bizarre way by two curious pathological cases which have come down to us. In one of them, reported by Galen, an otherwise sane patient was haunted by hallucinatory flute-players, whom he saw and heard by day and night. In the other, the patient was seized with panic whenever he heard the flute played at a party” (97).

25.23] Dodds calls an old Pythagorean catechism ... we ought to be punished”: Dodds 152, quoting Iamblichus, a 2nd-century Syrian-Greek novelist.

26.2] body as the soul’s prison ... purged of guilt: after quoting the “old Pythagorean catechism,” Dodds goes on to say: “In that form of the doctrine which Plato attributes to the Orphic school, the body was pictured as the soul’s prison, in which the gods keep it locked up until it has purged its guilt” (152).

26.3] purgatorio: Purgatory—and the title of Dante’s second part of The Divine Comedy.

26.12] catharsis ... which god’s tormenting him: see Dodds 78-79.

26.24] original sin like a plague down the ages: “Woman’s only function was the childbearing, which passed the contagion of Original Sin to the next generation, like a venereal disease”—from a passage in Karen Armstrong’s A History of God (NY: Knopf, 1993, p. 124) that Gaddis cites in his essay “Old Foes with new Faces” (RSP 101).

27.3] Mary Baker Eddy ... pullulating error: the founder of Christian Science (1821-1910) was a target of Gaddis’s scorn from R (532) through “Old Foes with New Faces” (RSP 104-6).

27.6] where every prospect pleases and only: from Bishop Reginald Heber’s (1783-1826) once-popular poem “From Greenland’s Icy Mountains”: “Though every prospect pleases, / And only man is vile: / In vain with lavish kindness / The gifts of God are strown” (ODQ).

27.19] God the bed-maker in the last book of The Republic: in his condemnation of artistic imitation, Socrates uses the example of a bed: God created the idea of a bed, a carpenter builds an actual bed, but a painter merely imitates one (10:596-97).

28.18] Nietzsche’s Apollinian measured beauty: from The Birth of Tragedy; see 78.19.

28.22] Empedocles: Greek philosopher of the 5th century B.C., a disciple of Pythagoras, whom Dodds discusses as a kind of shaman (145 ff).

28.22] Pythagoras’ school of recollection: Dodds discusses the “importance attached in the Pythagorean school to ‘recollection’—not in the Platonic sense of recalling a world of disembodied Forms once seen by the disembodied soul, but in the more primitive sense of training the memory to recall the deeds and sufferings of a previous life on earth” (152).

29.3] rabbinical student ... dybbuk: in Jewish folklore, a spirit or demon that inhabits the body of the living; Shloime Ansky’s play The Dybbuk (1916) is the source for the many versions (in film, fiction, even ballet) that have followed.

29.22] angel bursts in ... St. John the Divine: see the introductory chapters of the Book of Revelations.

30.4] nearer to thee, dear God! Nearer to thee: cf. the famous hymn “Nearer My God to Thee,” also mentioned in R (583.37).

30.5] what do you say of the choral art ... the multitude: in a discussion of frivolous vs. moral art, Socrates asks Callicles: “And what do you say of the choral art and of dithyrambic poetry?—are not they of the same nature? Do you imagine that Cinesias the son of Meles cares about what will tend to the moral improvement of his hearers, or about what will give pleasure to the multitude” (Gorgias 502a).

30.12] Flutes and kettledrums in the Corybantic and Dionysiac cures: see Dodds 78.

30.25] the Wurlitzer Orchestra piano: illustrated (with description and measurements) on p. 124 of Roehl.

31.3] Plato ... crow like a,”: Republic 3:397a.

31.13] first animal cloned from a cell: Dolly the sheep, cloned by Dr. Ian Wilmut (see 35 below).

32.11] Wurlitzer Harp: from an ad reproduced on p. 123 of Roehl.

32.12] Frankenstein’s mimic’s height: see Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818).

32.19] Meles the harp-player ... sake of pleasure: continuing the discussion in Gorgias (502a), Socrates asks: “And what do you say of his father, Meles the harp-player? Did he perform with any view to the good of his hearers? Could he be said to regard even their pleasure? For his singing was an infliction to his audience. And of harp-playing and dithyrambic poetry in general, what would you say? Have they not been invented wholly for the sake of pleasure?”

32.22] all of it’s banished but the shepherd’s pipe ... and the harp permitted in the city: in book 3 of the Republic, Socrates concludes his discussion of acceptable musical instruments for his ideal state: “There remains then only the lyre and the harp for use in the city, and the shepherds may have a pipe in the country” (399e).

33.7] like Ambrose Bierce said, It beats old age: from a letter the American satirist (1842-1914?) wrote in October 1913 to his niece Lora before leaving the United States for Mexico: “Good-by—if you hear of my being stood up against a Mexican stone wall and shot to rags please know that I think that a pretty good way to depart his life. It beats old age, disease, or falling down the cellar stairs. To be a Gringo in Mexico—ah, that is euthanasia!”

33.17] what Huizinga called ... of civilization: tracing the development of art from functional works produced by artisans to more expressive, individualistic work produced by artists, Huizinga notes that in the 18th century there was “an unparalleled rise in aesthetic enjoyment all the more fervent for having to act as a substitute for religion. This is one of the most important phases in the history of civilization” (Homo Ludens 202).

33.19] Walter Benjamin ... Mechanical Reproduction: Benjamin (1892-1940) was a German critic, and his “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” (1936)—on the interrelation between art, technology, and mass society—is probably his best-known essay. (It should be noted that Gaddis didn’t read this essay until 1988, long after he had formulated his thoughts on the subject.)

33.21] the authentic work of art is based in ritual: Benjamin 223: “We know that the earliest art works originated in the service of a ritual—first the magical, then the religious kind.”

33.23] romantic mid-eighteenth century aesthetic pleasure in the worship of art was the privilege of the few: Huizinga 201-2: “Right into the 18th century art had occupied a subordinate place in the scale of such values. Art was a superior ornament in the lives of the privileged. . . . The great shift began in the middle of the 18th century as a result of new aesthetic impulses which took both romantic and classical form, though the romantic current was the more powerful. . . . All the time, art-worship and connoisseurship remained the privilege of the few.”

34.1] mass reproduction freed it from this parasitical dependence: Benjamin 224: “An analysis of art in the age of mechanical reproduction must do justice to these relationships, for they lead us to an all-important insight: for the first time in world history, mechanical reproduction emancipates the work of art from its parasitical dependence on ritual.”

34.3] turn of the century religion was losing its steam and art came in as its substitute: Huizinga 202: as the 18th century turned into the 19th, “new aesthetic impulses . . . brought about an unparalleled rise in aesthetic enjoyment all the more fervent for having to act as a substitute for religion.”

34.8] changed the way the masses looked at art: Benjamin 234: “Mechanical reproduction of art changes the reaction of the masses toward art.”

34.10] art now became public property, for the simply educated: Huizinga 202: “Only towards the end of the 19th century did the appreciation of art, thanks largely to photographic reproduction, reach the broad mass of the simply educated. Art becomes public property, love of art bon ton [good manners].”

34.13] Paul Valéry ... electricity: Benjamin (219) cites the French poet and critic (1871-1945) on the inevitably of television: “Just as water, gas, and electricity are brought into our houses from far off to satisfy our needs in response to a minimal effort, so we shall be supplied with visual or auditory images, which will appear and disappear at a simple movement of the hand, hardly more than a sign” (from Valéry’s essay “The Conquest of Ubiquity”).

34.17] with mechanization, advertising art works made directly for a market: Huizinga 202: “Mechanization, advertising, sensation-mongering have a much greater hold upon art because as a rule it works directly for a market. . . .”

34.23] the uniqueness of every reality is overcome by the acceptance of its reproduction: Benjamin (223) notes the masses’ “bent toward overcoming the uniqueness of every reality by accepting its reproduction.”

34.25] art is designed for its reproducibility: Benjamin 224: “To an ever greater degree the work of art reproduced becomes the work of art designed for reproducibility.”

35.1] Give them the choice, Mr. Benjamin, and the mass will always choose the fake: cf. Nietzsche’s observation: “Copies: Not infrequently, one encounters copies of important people; and, as with paintings, most people prefer the copy to the original.” Human All Too Human, trans Marion Faber with Stephen Lehmann (U Nebraska P, 1984), aphorism 294, p. 176 {John Soutter}

35.12] Little Lamb ... I’ll tell thee: from Blake’s “The Lamb” (quoted in ODQ) in Songs of Innocence (1789). Citing Blake in reference to Dolly suggests Gaddis saw the article by J. Madeleine Nash about Dr. Wilmut in Time magazine (29 December 1997) whose opening paragraph reads: “In his mystic forays into the nature of creation, the poet William Blake questioned both the lamb and the tiger about their origins, asking the tiger who it was who could have possibly crafted its ‘fearful symmetry.’ ‘Did he smile his work to see? Did he who made the Lamb make thee?’ This year, out of a research institute in Scotland, a lamb named Dolly came roaring similarly existential questions. For Dolly was a clone, and her doubling had a fearful symmetry of a different kind: If sheep could be cloned, could humans be far behind?”

35.17] Doctor Wilmut: Ian Wilmut, the Scottish embryologist who cloned Dolly (see 31.13).

35.23] Eli Whitney’s cotton gin: the American inventor (1765-1825) created the cotton gin in 1793 (and patented it the following year), which led to a dramatic increase in cotton production. He later turned his attention to the manufacture of firearms (as noted on the next page). Gaddis’s source for Whitney was Brooks Adams (next entry).

36.3] Henry Adams’ sharper brother: American historian Brooks Adams (1848-1927), best known for Law of Civilization and Decay (1895). His remarks on Virginia as a breeding farm for slaves are from his long introduction to his brother Henry’s The Degradation of the Democratic Dogma (NY: Macmillan, 1919), 22, restated on 31.

36.15] slavery wouldn’t be abolished George Washington said till it ceased to pay: quoted by Adams, p.18

37.2] post hoc ergo: in full, post hoc, propter hoc: Lat., “after this, therefore because of this”—the fallacy that temporal succession implies causality.

37.11] love for the beautiful creation ... Chesterton: G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936), English writer and Catholic apologist;

37.21] Friedrich’s book ... Glenn Gould: Otto Friedrich’s Glenn Gould: A Life and Variations (NY: Random House, 1989), on the brilliant but eccentric Canadian pianist (1932-82).

38.3] Glenn that could be either one of them: either Friedrich’s biography or Thomas Bernhard’s novel The Loser (1983), in which the Canadian pianist is a character (and almost always called by his first name); the narrator’s friend Wertheimer, an excellent pianist but the “loser” of the title, is so overwhelmed by Gould’s genius that he gives up his own career as a pianist and eventually hangs himself. (Friedrich dismisses Bernhard’s novel as a fantasy: p. 335.)

38.7] be the best or not at all that’s Horowitz: Russian virtuoso Vladimir Horowitz (1904-89), with whom Wertheimer and the narrator study; the latter justifies his abandonment of the piano thus: “to belong to the best wasn’t good enough for me, I wanted to be the best or not at all, and so I gave it up” (85).

38.11] Gould said he detested ... terror of performance: Friedrich 85.

38.15] if I hadn’t met Gould ... Absolutely no artist: The Loser 8.

38.17] Goldberg Variations: Gould was catapulted to fame with his revolutionary 1955 recording of this famous keyboard work of Bach’s, which was written for the insomniac Count Hermann Karl von Keseryling and named after the count’s personal musician, Johann Gottlieb Goldberg (Friedrich 47; cf. The Loser 155).

38.18] pleasure in all circumstances is bad says Pythagoras: see the “Pythagorean catechism” mentioned above at 25.23.

38.24] Glenn got so carried away ... finale: an anecdote recorded by Friedrich (75).

39.2] he wanted to become the piano ... the Steinway and Glenn in one: The Loser 82.

39.8] splicing and editing ... mechanically imitated: Friedrich 116.

39.22] Welte in Freiburg ... Welte-Mignon: Roehl 66-67; Loesser 584.

40.1] Debussy ... Paderewski: all noted by Roehl.

40.4] Duo-Art Pianolas, Ampico: two of the more popular versions of the player piano—the first manufactured by Steinway, the second by Chickering—both discussed by Loesser (584).

40.10] Leonardo da Vinci ... painting an art superior to music: Benjamin 249 (n15): “Leonardo compares painting and music as follows: ‘Painting is superior to music because, unlike unfortunate music, it does not have to die as soon as it is born. . . . Music which is consumed in the very act of its birth is inferior to painting which the use of varnish has rendered eternal.’”

40.14] space is curved: one of Albert Einstein's theses as formulated in his general theory of relativity (Die Grundlagen der Allgemeinen Relativitätstheorie, 1913-1916).[AZ]

40.15] Occam’s razor: the famous principle of economy in logic (named after the medieval English theologian William of Occam) urges “entities should not be multiplied beyond what is needed.”

40.15] looked on beauty bare: Edna St. Vincent Millay wrote: “Euclid alone has looked on Beauty bare” (ODQ).

41.7] Paganini: Italian violin virtuoso Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840).

41.12] Louis Moreau Gottschalk: American pianist and composer (1829-69).

43.4] 1890 census that Hollerith put together: American inventor and entrepreneur Herman Hollerith (1860-1929) worked at the U.S. Census office after graduating from college, where he became interested in mechanical aids to statistical tabulation. By 1890 he had designed a system for recording data as holes in punched cards that became one of the basic input mechanisms in digital computers. See Rosenberg, chap. 6.

43.7] IBM and NCR: Thomas J. Watson worked for the National Cash Register company before founding International Business Machines; see Rosenberg, chap. 7.

43.9] Aeolian ... Duo-Art Pianola Piano: see Roehl 6-8, Buchner 99.

43.17] Angelus and Apollo: two more early and popular versions of the player piano.

43.20] Tom Mix ... Jackie Coogan ... Rudolph Valentino: see Roehl 88 for an ad illustrating Mix’s Welte-Mignon, p. 89 for Valentino’s Angelus, and p. 82 for Coogan’s Ampico.

43.25] Dowager Empress of China letter here from Prince Ch’ing: reproduced in Roehl (14)

44.17] reproducing pianos in the Élysée Palace in Paris ... Mussolini in Rome: a 1926 newspaper article reproduced by Roehl (72) is headlined: “Weber Duo-Art in Mussolini’s Palace, Rome; Also in Elysee Palace of President of France.” The article describes all the other dignitaries Gaddis mentions (along with many more) as admirers of the Weber Duo-Art reproducing piano.

45.1] Ampico in Vincent Astor’s music room:

45.2] six Autopianos on the battleship USS Delaware: from a newspaper ad reproduced in Roehl (29)

45.3] Helen Keller in the forest when the tree falls: the old philosophical question about whether a falling tree makes noise if no one is in the forest to hear it, complicated by the famous deaf and blind woman’s presence. Cf. CG 146.3.

45.8] time it took the hammer on the last eighth of an inch: from an article in the November 1927 issue of Scientific American, reproduced in Roehl (80).

45.18] Grieg playing his dreadful Wedding March: from an ad reproduced in Roehl (94).

47.8] Jung ... Quod licet Jovi ... An unpleasant but eternal truth: from the penultimate paragraph of the Swiss psychologist’s Modern Man in Search of a Soul, trans. W. S. Dell and Cary F. Baynes (NY: Harcourt, Brace, 1933): “As a Swiss, I am an inveterate democrat, yet I recognize that nature is aristocratic and, what is even more, esoteric. Quod licet Jovi, non licet bovi is an unpleasant but an eternal truth.” The Latin phrase, which sounds like a proverb, translates “That which is allowed Jove is not allowed cows.”

47.16] inner illumination that Plato thought was, because that’s not even Plato it’s Dodds: see 47.23 below.

47.20] Huysmans: Joris Karl Huysmans (1848-1907), French decadent novelist whose À rebours (Against Nature [against the grain]) is cited below (58.8).

47.21] Heidegger: Martin Heidegger (1889-1976), German existentialist philosopher.

47.22] The Physics of Baseball: a 1990 book by Robert K. Adair, a Yale professor of physics.

47.23] Democritus, right there in Dodds ... “inspiration and a holy breath” ... above reason: “But the first writer whom we know to have talked about poetic ecstasy is Democritus [c.460-c.370 B.C.], who held that the finest poems were those composed . . . ‘with inspiration and a holy breath,’ and denied that anyone could be a great poet sine furore [without madness]. As recent scholars have emphasised, it is to Democritus, rather than to Plato, that we must assign the doubtful credit of having introduced into literary theory this conception of the poet as a man set apart from common humanity by an abnormal inner experience, and of poetry as a revelation apart from reason and above reason” (82).

48.18] Flaubert ... stupidity”: Letters 183 (and quoted in Steegmuller’s introduction, xiii).

48.21] “the artist ... existed”: the first half comes from a letter to George Sand: “But my ideal of Art demands that the artist reveal none of [his personal opinions], and that he appear in his work no more than God in nature. The man is nothing, the work everything!” (Letters 227).

49.1] Everywhere present and nowhere visible: cf. the Greek riddle quoted in Huizinga: “‘What is the same everywhere and nowhere?’ Answer: ‘Time’” (148).

49.2] the death of the author: title of an influential 1968 essay by French literary theorist Roland Barthes, collected in Images/Music/Text, trans. Stephen Heath (NY: Hill & Wang, 1977).

49.12] “the most intense ... says my golden Sigi: i.e., “. . . the pleasure in the performance of the sexual act”—from Freud’s A General Introduction to Psycho-analysis [1917], trans. Joan Riviere (NY: Liveright, 1935), 311. (In James Strachey’s standard translation: Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis, part 3, chap. 22.)

49.16] learned nothing forgotten nothing: a phrase usually attributed to Tallyrand regarding the Bourbons--the ODQ translates it "They have learnt nothing, and forgotten nothing"--but which originated with Admiral de Panat, who in 1796 said of the Royalists: "Personne n'a su ni rien oublier ni rien prendre" (Nobody has been able to forget anything or learn anything). [JB, AZ]

49.18] “My one impulse ... Tolstoy ... nothing to forget”: from a note dated 9 May 1859 (Troyat 192).

49.20] “I shall write no more ... It’s shameful!”: Troyat 193—one of many times in his life when Tolstoy forswore literature.

49.24] “reading bad books ... despair”: from his diary for 1 April 1852, noted while working on his first novel Childhood (Troyat 90).

50.9] Flaubert writes to George Sand ... pass on the torch”: Letters 180.

50.17] Hawthorne ... “that damned mob of scribbling women”: in a letter dated 19 January 1855 to bookseller William D. Ticknor, Hawthorne writes that he’s going to take his time on his next book, for “America is now totally given over to a d—d mob of scribbling women, and I should have no chance of success while the public taste is occupied with their trash—and should be ashamed of myself if I did succeed” (The Letters, 1853-1856, ed. Thomas Woodson et al. [Columbus: Ohio State U P, 1987], Centenary Edition 17:304). The Marble Faun (1860) and The Blithedale Romance (1852) did not achieve the same success as The Scarlet Letter .

51.4] Poe with his mechanized genius: taken (as Gaddis’s notes attest) from D. H. Lawrence’s famous essay on Poe: “All Poe’s style, moreover, has this mechanical quality, as his poetry has a mechanical rhythm. . . . And his cadences are all managed mechanically”—Studies in Classic American Literature (1923; rpt. NY: Viking, 1964), 69.

51.7] Melville ... owes them a hundred and forty-five dollars and eighty-three cents:

51.12] “dollars damn me!” he tells Hawthorne: in a letter tentatively dated 1 June 1851, Melville complained of his writing circumstances: “The calm, the coolness, the silent grass-growing mood in which a man ought always to compose,--that, I fear, can seldom be mine. Dollars damn me; and the malicious Devil is forever grinning in upon me, holding the door ajar.”

51.14] Pierre: Melville’s novel Pierre, or The Ambiguities (1852) was a commercial failure and is considered an artistic failure by many critics.

51.18] ends up in the Custom House at four dollars a day: a job Melville took in 1866 and stuck with for twenty years.

51.25] Wiener ... the more chance for error: a distillation of his discussion of entropy in communication (Wiener 21). Gaddis used the same definition in J R (403.30).

52.3] tyranny of the majority ... Mill: a theme that runs through John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty (1859).

52.4] de Tocqueville’s: Count Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-59), best known for his Democracy in America (1835-39), from which Mill borrowed heavily for portions of On Liberty.

52.5] Mill ... that winter he got seriously tormented ... no more Weber: as Mill relates in chap. 5 of his Autobiography (1873), he became seriously depressed at age 20: “And it is very characteristic both of my then state, and of the general tone of my mind at this period of my life, that I was seriously tormented by the thought of the exhaustibility of musical combinations. The octave consists only of five tones and two semi-tones, which can be put together in only a limited number of ways, of which but a small proportion are beautiful: most of these, it seemed to me, must have been already discovered, and there could not be room for a long succession of Mozarts and Webers, to strike out, as these had done, entirely new and surpassingly rich veins of musical beauty.”

52.12] Weber: Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826), German composer, considered the creator of German romantic opera.

52.12] head of the U.S. Patent Office resigning in 1875:

52.16] a year later with ... the player piano: 1876; see p. 5 above.

55.5] the one who comes after you with an axe in the middle of the night: in his 1995 memorial speech for his old friend Otto Friedrich, Gaddis wrote: "In 1955, when I was preening myself over one of the infinitely few fan letters that accomapanied the publication of my first novel, he [Friedrich] observed 'those are the people who come after you in the middle of the night with an axe." The text of the speech can be found at

55.23] Huizinga called ... crude sensationalism: Homo Ludens 205.

55.25] popularity of a work ... says Melville: from Pierre?

56.2] masses invading the province of the writer says Walter Benjamin: see Benjamin 232, where he notes that “With the increasing extension of the press, . . . an increasing number of readers became writers. . . . At any moment, the reader is ready to turn into a writer.”

56.8] there’s a greater gap ... Nietzsche:

56.16] Tolstoy ... with his duty: see 59.2ff below.

56.21] God from whom all blessings flow: from 17th-century Bishop Thomas Ken’s “Morning and Evening Hymn” (ODQ).

57.19] first step that counts: dismissing St. Denis’s legendary two-league march with severed head in hand, the 18th-century Madame du Deffand wrote: “The distance is nothing; it is only the first step that is difficult” (ODQ). Gaddis first used this comment in R (938.26).

58.1] Huysmans ... A Rebours in 1884: Huysmans’s protagonist Des Esseintes cultivates these various artificial contrivances to battle his sense of ennui. Gaddis’s notes indicate he learned of Huysmans from Mario Praz’s The Romantic Agony (English translation 1933).

58.16] mistrust of the intellectual who Tolstoy called untrustworthy ... nothing but lies: for the young Tolstoy, Troyat writes, “the only things worthy of respect in Russia were the aristocracy and the people; he was a member of the former, and was attracted to the latter. . . . Between these two true beings, a third had insinuated itself, a new and entirely artificial, useless and untrustworthy creature: the intellectual. The intellectual was not nourished on experience but on books. He claimed the right to instruct his fellows and he had never fought or plowed a field. Most of the time, his pen produced nothing but falsehood. ¶ ‘Lies!’ The word was recurring increasingly often in Tolstoy’s conversation and in his diary” (132).

58.24] Plato calls the lie in words ... dealing with an enemy: in the Republic Socrates distinguishes the “true lie” from “the lie in words,” which “is only a kind of imitation and shadowy image of a previous affection of the soul, not pure unadulterated falsehood.” While “the true lie is hated not only by the gods, but also by men,” “the lie in words is in certain cases useful and not hateful; in dealing with enemies,” for example (2:382c).

59.2] Tolstoy says ... to edify mankind: in his Confession, Tolstoy summed up the intellectuals’ position in the mid-1850s thus: “Our vocation is to edify mankind” (Troyat 132).

59.9] “Perhaps they ... they are millions”: Troyat 218. Tolstoy was teaching peasants at the time and deferred to their judgment of literature.

59.16] Ezra Pound ... he lies: in an early essay entitled “The Serious Artist” (1913), the American poet (1885-1972) wrote: “If the artist falsifies his reports on these matters or on any other matter in order that he may conform to the taste of his time, to the proprieties of a sovereign, to the conveniences of a preconceived code of ethics, then that artist lies” (Literary Essays [NY: New Directions, 1968], 43-44). {Italian Pound scholar Massimo Bacigalupo identified this for me.}

59.25] Walt Whitman singing his body electric ... the poet’s merit is determined by the multitude: “I Sing the Body Electric” is a famous sequence from Whitman’s Leaves of Grass (1855); Whitman’s faith in the multitude’s ability to judge poetry is expressed in his preface.

60.13] “The press ... from thinking”: Letters 180.

60.19] wrap the fish in tomorrow ... Pulitzer Prizes: repeated from CG: “--That’s what gets the Pulitzer Prize it’s not about art, it’s not about literature, about anything lasting, it’s the newspaper mind, what’s here today and you wrap the fish in tomorrow . . .” (221). {John Soutter}

60.24] Slough of Despond: from John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress (1678).

61.4] the Grey Lady: a nickname for the New York Times.

61.5] their journalist who reviews books: the Times’ Michiko Kakutani (of whom Gaddis had a low opinion) won the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 1998 “for her passionate, intelligent writing on books and contemporary literature.” (Note the phrasing: Gaddis regarded a book reviewer not as a literary critic but merely as a “journalist who reviews books.”)

61.13] Pound’s cry for the new: Make It New (1934) is a collection of Pound’s literary essays. In his Canto 53 he ascribes the phrase “make it new” to the ancient Chinese emperor Tching Tang.

61.15] Gravity’s Rainbow ... ‘Professor’: the Pulitzer Prize’s advisory committee recommended that Thomas Pynchon’s 1973 novel be awarded its fiction prize, but the Pulitzer trustees overturned the recommendation due to the novel’s alleged obscenity and obscurity. The novel did win the NBA, but the reclusive author sent comedian Professor Irwin Corey, self-styled “World’s Foremost Authority,” to accept the award in his stead; see “Professor Irwin Corey Accepts National Book Award for Thomas Pynchon,” Pynchon Notes 36-39 (1995-96): 181-83.

61.23] brilliant biography of William Randolph Hearst: W. A. Swanberg’s Citizen Hearst (NY: Scribner’s, 1961). Though this book deserved one, no Pulitzer Prize was given for a biography published that year.

62.2] Pulitzer himself portrayed ... Liberty: these details are taken from p. 116 of Swanberg’s biography.

62.9] called a “journalist ... horror-loving”: from one of Hearst’s own editorials attacking Pulitzer, New York Journal, 29 March 1897 (Swanberg 107).

62.11] Harvard Lampoon prankster ... chamberpots: like Gaddis, Hearst worked for Harvard’s humor magazine; his pranks involving fireworks and chamber pots are recounted by Swanberg (28-33).

62.14] Hearst’s Journal and Pulitzer’s World: after buying the New York World in 1883, Pulitzer founded the New York Evening World in 1887. Hearst bought the New York Journal (which once belonged to Joseph Pulitzer’s brother Albert) in 1895 and began a circulation war against the World by slashing prices and fabulating bogus stories.

62.22] Pasteur ... chance favours the prepared mind: French chemist Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) once said, “In the fields of observation, chance favors only the mind that is prepared.” Quoted in J R (476.43).

62.25] US battleship Maine lay in Havana harbour: responding to unfounded rumors of an anti-American plot in Cuba, the battleship Maine sailed to Cuba in early 1895 to protect American nationals and property; Hearst’s Journal stirred up a great deal of agitation over the situation, then increased its efforts after the Maine was blown up on the night of February 15 (not by Spain, as Hearst alleged, but probably by Cuban rebels). See Swanberg 134ff, where he comments: “Hearst’s coverage of the Maine disaster still stands as the orgasmic acme of ruthless, truthless newspaper jingoism” (137).

63.1] 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

63.12] this novel ... most famous vagran in the city!”: A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole’s comic novel set in New Orleans in the early 1960s, was rejected by all the East Coast publishers Toole submitted it to—contributing to his suicide in 1969 at the age of thirty-two—but through the efforts of his mother and Walker Percy, it was eventually published by Louisiana State University Press in 1980 and went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. (About 70 words were cut from Gaddis’s manuscript regarding the original editor Toole worked with.) The first quotation below is from pp. 28-29.

63.17] Laodicea: ancient city in Turkey, whose Christian community was famously criticized as being “neither hot nor cold” in Revelations (3:15).

63.18] Leonidas: the king of Sparta who defended the pass of Thermopylae against the Persian army (480 B.C.).

64.17] Aristotle defining politics as the struggle between the rich and the poor: touched on throughout his Politics, esp. book 6.

64.24] Plato sees force alone ... irremediable inferiority:

65.5] “She think cause I color ... Whoa!’”: Confederacy of Dunces, 46-47.

65.18] Are we what our mothers made us?: see 3.17 above.

65.22] “Whoa! That paper ... in the city!”: Confederacy of Dunces, 300.

66.2] Book Award ... Plaza: New York City’s Plaza Hotel was the setting for the National Book Award ceremony of 16 November 1994 at which Gaddis won the award for fiction for FHO, much to the black-tied crowd’s disappointment (Grace Paley was expected to win).

66.8] Count Tolstoy pounding it to stray peasant girls: Troyat notes several incidents of such behavior before Tolstoy got married.

66.11] following Turgenev everywhere ... title of nobility” ... follows Turgenev home like a dog: from Troyat (133), who details Tolstoy’s and Turgenev’s love-hate relationship.

67.5] letter from Flaubert ... his countrymen:
cf. Flaubert’s remark to George Sand: “I’d like to drown my contemporaries in their latrines, or at least rain torrents of abuse, cataracts of invective, on their heads” (Letters 185).

68.6] back to Corinth running through the streets:
further echoes from Bernhard’s Concrete, though Rudolph thinks of running through the streets of Palma, not Corinth.

68.11] Pleasure ... loving couple: from the Republic (3:403a); Socrates asks Glaucon:

And is there any greater or keener pleasure than that of sensual love?
No, nor a madder.
Whereas true love is a love of beauty and order—temperate and harmonious?
Quite true, he said.
Then no intemperance or madness should be allowed to approach true love?
Certainly not.
Then mad or intemperate pleasure must never be allowed to come near the lover and his beloved. . . .

69.1] Siegmund ... Brünnhilde: characters from Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelung tetralogy.

69.3] Huizinga calls it just play: in Homo Ludens Huizinga argues that the concept of sex as play is “especially or even exclusively reserved for erotic relationships falling outside the social norm” (43).

69.5] Montecavallo: the context suggests she’s an opera singer, but I could find no one of this name in any opera reference book; fictitious?

69.9] Hegel ... suffering’s necessary for self realization: Georg Wilhelm Hegel (1770-1831), German philosopher;

69.18] Tolstoy says Pascal had a nail-studded belt ... “writing corrupts the soul”: tired of the acclaim for his Anna Karenina, Tolstoy wrote an admirer: “Don’t praise my book! Pascal had a nail-studded belt he used to lean against every time he felt pleasure at some word of praise. I should have a belt like that. I ask you, be a friend; either do not write to me about the book at all, or else write and tell me everything that is wrong with it. If it is true, as I feel, that my powers are weakening, then, I beg of you, tell me. Our profession is dreadful, writing corrupts the soul” (Troyat 352).

69.24] Plato ... be banished: see Republic 2:378, 3:389-91.

70.21] honeyed muse of epic verse and lyric verse: Plato uses “honeyed muse” in the Republic (10:607b) and probably elsewhere.

71.19] muses the daughters of memory: “The Muses were the daughters of Memory,” Dodds reminds us in a note (100). In the Theaetetus Socrates refers to “Memory, the mother of the Muses” (191d).

72.15] pillar of salt: the fate of Lot’s wife for looking back (Gen. 19:26).

72.17] perfectly simple in word and deed says Plato: in the Republic (2:382e), Socrates asks Adeimantus: “Then is God perfectly simple and true both in word and deed; he changes not; he deceives not, either by sign or word, by dream or waking vision.”

72.21] make yourselves eunuchs ... says Tolstoy: Troyat 475 (quoting Matthew 19:12). Tolstoy made these remarks while composing The Kreutzer Sonata.

73.2] dress up like a muzhik: i.e., like a Russian serf. During the second half of his life, Troyat notes, Tolstoy emulated the muzhik’s clothing and way of life.

73.7] letter Wagner wrote to Röckel: “We must learn to die, in fact to die in the most absolute sense of the world; the fear of the end is the source of all lovelessness and it arises only where love itself has already faded. How did it come about that mankind so lost touch with this bringer of the highest happiness to everything living that in the end everything they did, everything they undertook and established, was done solely out of fear for the end. My poem shows how. It shows nature in its undistorted truth, with all its opposites intact, which in their manifold and endless permutations also contain elements which are mutually exclusive and self-repelling.”—letter to August Röckel dated 25/26 January 1854, in Wagner: A Documentary Study, ed. Herbert Barth, Dietrich Mack, Egon Voss (London: Thames and Hudson, 1975), 184. {John Soutter}

73.12] Levochka: the diminutive (familiar) form of Tolstoy’s first name Lev (though Troyat spells it “Lyovochka”).

73.13] Pozdnyshev in The Kreutzer Sonata: Pozdnyshev is the protagonist of Tolstoy’s 1889 novella (named after Beethoven’s 1802 violin sonata). After horrifying an idealistic lady on the train by telling her that marriage is “nothing but copulation,” Pozdnyshev recounts to a sympathetic passanger the story of his disastrous marriage. After a shameful and dull honeymoon, Pozdnyshev and his wife endure a loveless marriage until he kills her with a dagger in a fit of jealousy.

75.5] violinist Trukhachev ... like Hottentots: Pozdnyshev describes Trukhachevski thus: “His figure was weak though not misshapen, and he had a specially developed posterior, like a woman’s, or such as Hottentots are said to have. They too are reported to be musical” (chap. 19).

75.11] “the most refined form of sensual lust”: Pozdnyshev’s description of music in chap. 24, taken not from the old Maude translation that Gaddis uses above (which reads “that most exquisite voluptuousness of the senses”) but from that of David McDuff in The Kreutzer Sonata and Other Stories (Penguin, 1983).

75.14] That description you put in somewhere Pozdnyshev ... able to do: from chap. 23. This passage is repeated at the conclusion of AA.

75.21] you can play better by roll than many who play by hand: from the Saturday Evening Post ad quoted earlier (Roehl 23).

76.8] banish Homer: Socrates’ reluctant conclusion in the Republic; “we are ready to acknowledge that Homer is the greatest of poets and first of tragedy writers; but we must remain firm in our conviction that hymns to the gods and praises of famous men are the only poetry which ought to be admitted into our State” (10:607a).

76.11] first movement of The Kreutzer Sonata ... lowcut dresses: stating that music “is a terrible instrument in the hands of any chance user” because of its agitating effect, Pozdnyshev says, “Take that Kreutzer Sonata, for instance, how can that first presto be played in a drawing-room among ladies in low-necked dresses?” (chap. 23).

77.2] Kleist ... Hölderlin: Heinrich von Kleist (1777-1811), German dramatist, and Friedrich Hölderlin (1770-1843), German lyric poet.

77.3] most agonizing of them all:
Nietzsche suffered a mental breakdown in 1889 and spent a year in an asylum; the last ten years of his life were spent in a mental twilight, attended by his sister Elisabeth; after Nietzsche’s death in 1900 she secured the rights to his work and published his literary remains in mangled form. For the sordid details, see H. F. Peters’s Zarathustra’s Sister: The Case of Elisabeth and Friedrich Nietzsche (NY: Crown, 1977).

77.17] his most famous friend: Wagner, whom Nietzsche championed in his first book (see below) but repudiated in later life.

78.6] The Will to Power: a book begun by Nietzsche in 1888, but never finished. His sister published his notes for the project in 1901.

78.7] blond beast and ruthlessly distorted superman: two terms from Nietzsche’s writings that have been misinterpreted as praise for Nazi-Aryan superiority. The “blond beast” appears in his On the Genealogy of Morals (part 1, sec. 11), where the image of a lion is used to refer not to 19th-century Germans but to certain ancient Greeks and Romans, Goths and Vandals, even Arab and Japanese nobility. Nietzsche’s superman—more properly translated “overman” (Übermensch)—was introduced in Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883) and signifies a man who gives “his life meaning by raising himself above the animals and the all-too-human,” according to Walter Kaufmann. “What else is human nature but a euphemism for inertia, cultural conditioning, and what we are before we make something of ourselves? Our so-called human nature is precisely what we should do well to overcome; and the man who has overcome it Zarathustra calls the overman” (The Portable Nietzsche (NY: Viking, 1954], 115). It certainly didn’t refer to his fellow Germans, of whom Nietzsche was generally contemptuous, or Nazi-Aryan supremacists. Cf. Nietzsche’s Übermensch with Gaddis’s Self Who Could Do More.

78.11] The Birth of Tragedy: Nietzsche’s first book (1872), in which he argues that Greek tragedy was born from the union of the constructive, beautiful, rational (Apollinian) and destructive, grotesque, irrational (Dionysian) tendencies of Greek civilization.

79.21] Beautiful little innocent climbs into my lap fell on my neck with kisses: unidentified.

79.24] my sometime daughter: Lear condemns Cordelia thus (1.1.119), “sometime” meaning “former.”

80.8] the ceremony of innocence was drowned: from Yeats’s poem “The Second Coming”: “The ceremony of innocence is drowned; / The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity.” Cf. FHO 304.23.

80.9] can you pull a shade over there: in an earlier version of AA Gaddis planned to have his narrator accompanied by a character based on Lear’s Fool, and it is apparently that character who is addressed here. Cf. Lear’s request “Make no noise, make no noise; draw the curtains” (3.6.76), though it’s hard to say whether this is addressed to Kent or the Fool.

80.12] weightless shadows the chorus held up to Ajax: from Sophocles’ play Ajax?

80.21] the artist as confidence man: cf. Melville’s novel The Confidence-Man (1857).

81.1] Torschlusspanik: a German word meaning the fear of closed doors, of opportunities missed. (See annotation to J R 393.42.) Torschlusspanik is also the title of the radio play version of AA that was broadcast by DeutschlandRadio in 1999.

81.6] Levochka’s sensual lust ... safety valve of sex: Pozdnyshev uses the safety-valve metaphor in chap. 7 and 11 of “The Kreutzer Sonata.”

81.15] verweile doch! du bist so schön: see 17.16 above.

81.23] voice has dwindled to the dry scratch of a grasshopper:
 a reference to the Greek myth of Tithonus.  In a letter from Gaddis to Donn O’Meara and William Carnahan (19 November 1993), he writes: "Did I ever mention that a ½ [sic.] century ago I changed my middle name on Harvard’s transcripts from ‘Thomas’ to ‘Tithonus’ there conjuring the day when through Eos’ intervention I’d secure immortality forgetting, in our lust, to stipulate eternal youth, until the day comes round (Here at the quite limit of the world) when, pitying, the Dawn to the rescue has him transformed into the grasshopper with its relentless immortal tdzzzk, tdzzzk, tdzzzk…[….] I tell you, it’s all a metaphor.” {Crystal Alberts} See also the chirping grasshopper in Eliot's “Ash Wednesday.”

82.6] Mel-O-Dee Music Rolls, Mel-O-Art: two manufacturers of player piano rolls mentioned by Roehl (167-71).

82.7] QRS Campaign Against Filth in Popular Songs: the QRS Music Company made both player pianos and piano rolls; Roehl (155) reproduces a newspaper article headlined: “Q R S Music Co. Launches Campaign Against Filth in Popular Songs with Vigorous Circular Letter.” (These were probably what Roehl calls “the inevitable ‘party rolls’ with suggestive verses which hit the market in the ’20’s” [154]).

82.13] “the little people ... they laugh too”: from Robinson Jeffers’ poem “Wise Men in Their Bad Hours,” also quoted in CG.

82.18] Flaubert ... dining room”: Letters 269.

82.25] de Maupassant to Turgenev, “Flaubert apoplexy, no hope”: the final letter in Steegmuller’s edition of Flaubert’s Letters 1857-1880 is one from de Maupassant to Turgenev, dated 25 May 1880, two weeks after Flaubert’s death: “At three-thirty in the afternoon on Saturday, May eighth, I received a telegram from Mme Commanville: ‘Flaubert apoplexy. No hope. Leaving at six’” (276).

83.11] electric player ... missing some in bad weather: from an article in TheMusic Trades, vol. 23 (1902); Gaddis took several years’ worth of notes from this weekly trade magazine.

83.16] murderer named Kemmler: William Kemmler of Buffalo, New York, murdered his wife in 1889, and on 6 August 1890 died in the electric chair, invented by Thomas Alva Edison to demonstrate the dangers of using Alternating Current (he favored Direct Current).

83.18] Reverend Newell Dwight Hillis ... patrician classes”:
American clergyman and activist (1858-1929), author of over two dozen books; source of quotation unknown (cf. J R 575.42, where his surname is misspelled Millis, and RSP 11, where it’s correct).

83.23] Steinway brings Paderewski over here:
Ignace Paderewski (1860-1941), Polish pianist and (later) statesman, came to the U.S. in 1891 at the request of Steinway and Sons (Loesser 534-35). Cf. J R 63.28.

83.24] Knabe opens Carnegie Hall with Tchaikovsky live: the piano firm of William Knabe & Co. arranged for the Russian conductor to conduct at the dedicatory concert in 1891 (Loesser 534).

84.14] the kittens are bit ... without walls: from a popular nursery rhyme: “We are all in the dumps, / For diamonds are trumps; / The kittens are gone to St. Paul’s! / The babies are bit, / The moon’s in a fit, / And the houses are built without walls!” (first collected in James O. Halliwell’s The Nursery Rhymes of England, 1842). Cf. R 374.28.

84.16] stone Doctor Johnson kicked: unconvinced by Bishop Berkeley’s “immaterialist hypothesis,” which denied the existence of matter, Dr. Samuel Johnson kicked a stone and said, “I refute Berkeley thus.”

85.13] where everything equals everything else: cf. Gaddis’s description of “a spiritual entropy winding down eventually to total equilibrium, the ultimate chaos where everything equals everything else: the ultimate senseless universe. But then that, fighting that off, or succumbing to it, isn’t that what Dostoyevsky, what the great fictions have always been about?” (Zoltán Abádi-Nagy, “The Art of Fiction CI: William Gaddis,” Paris Review 105 [1987], 77). {John Soutter}

85.19] Rudolf Diesel ... Edison: all occurred in 1892.

5.25] Carnegie ... Frick who gets stabbed: 1892 was also the year of the Homestead labor strike, in which Carnegie Steel’s chairman Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919) was slightly injured.

86.14] Wagner’s art was damned ... decadent generation”: although Nietzsche expresses similar sentiments in his two short books on the composer (The Case of Wagner, Nietzsche contra Wagner), I couldn’t find this exact phrase in his works.

87.3] Chin Chin Temple Bells: a ragtime number from English composer Ivan Caryll's
operetta Chin-Chin (1914). {Christopher Leise}

87.6] In Germany the Ariston player ... no pneumatics: “Meanwhile the following important developments were taking place in Germany. The Ariston player was patented by Paul Ehrlich in 1887. This thirty-six note mechanism was soon superseded by that of Ludwig Hupfeld, playing sixty-one notes; Hupfeld’s device could be inserted into a previously built upright, and his compass was increased to seventy-six notes in 1889. These were without pneumatics . . .” (Weir 67).

87.10] in France Carpentier shows his Melograph and Melotrope: “The first man to find a satisfactory method of utilising air was J[ules]. Carpentier, who constructed his first pneumatic automatophonic instruments for the international electricity exhibition in 1880. His repeating melograph, first used for the harmonium, punched holes directly in paper strips which were then used to play the music in a specially constructed harmonium worked by electricity. From an improved type Carpentier developed two more instruments in 1887, the melograph and the melotrope, which he put before the French Academy” (Buchner 34).

87.15] Fourneaux’s pneumatic Pianista: “in 1863 a Frenchman named Forneaux [sic] patented what appears to be the first player operating on pneumatic principles. This he called the ‘Pianista,’ and it formed the basis of practically all later developments in the field” (Roehl 2). The Pianista was introduced to American audiences at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876. Loesser also notes Fourneaux’s invention (580-81).

87.20] Kelly invents a wind motor: “In 1886 a wind motor with slide valves which opened and closed ports to pneumatic motors was invented by G[eorge]. B. Kelly. This became exceedingly popular, and upon expiration of the patent it was adopted throughout the world” (Weir 65-66).

87.21] Merritt Gally’s inventions: “Merritt Gally, in 1881, patented a device which, while it never became an important factor in itself, did lay the groundwork not only for the later American Electrelle playing device . . . but also for all modern electric typewriters” (Roehl 4).

87.22] R W Pain and Henry Kuster ... their first pneumatic piano: Weir 66.

88.1] Piano écran: unidentified.

88.8] The Little Lost Child: an 1894 song, aka “A Passing Policeman,” by Edward Marks (words) and Joe Stern (music).

88.18] Peter Ibbetson ... cannot read!”: George du Maurier’s 1891 metaphysical novel Peter Ibbetson features an idealistic young free-thinker who loves music but was never taught to read it, and who expresses his frustration in this quotation from Part Third (the same quotation Crawley used in J R, mistakenly attributing it to du Maurier’s better-known novel Trilby, quoted below). In his unpublished essay “You’re a Dog Gone Daisy Girl—Presto” (1946), Gaddis indicates he learned of du Maurier’s novel from C. B. Chilton’s pamphlet The De-Assification of Music (1922).

89.1] Angelus Piano Player ... not interfering with anything: “In 1892 a patent was granted to W. D. Parker of Meriden, Connecticut, for a piano which could be played either automatically or by hand. The mechanism operated at the rear end of the keys and was among the first of those which did not interfere with the ordinary use of the piano. It was called the Angelus Piano Player, and was introduced by the inventor’s employers, Wilcox & White Co., to whom the patent was assigned” (Weir 66).

89.23] Für Elise: Beethoven’s bagatelle dating from 1808, a popular piece for beginning students. Cf J R 687.8.

91.1] Pastoral Symphony: Beethoven’s 6th Symphony in F Major (1808) is familiarly known as the Pastoral Symphony.

91.2] Bruckner’s Eighth: in c minor (1887); cf. J R 608, where notes from the scherzo are reproduced.

91.2] Mozart’s D Minor piano concerto: K.466, since its composition in 1785 the most famous of all his piano concerti. See J R 43.28.

91.3] Eliot’s “music ... music lasts”: from the concluding section of Eliot’s “The Dry Salvages,” the third of Four Quartets.

91.19] its author one day walking across Hampstead Heath with Henry James: in the 1880s du Maurier discussed the idea for Trilby with his young friend James, and later suggested that the American novelist write it himself, but James declined, fearing that his lack of musical knowledge would hinder him. (This anecdote, including the detail of the two writers walking across Hampstead Heath, opens Leonee Ormond’s introduction to the 1994 Everyman edition of the novel, though Gaddis could have found the details elsewhere.) Du Maurier went on to write the novel itself, which, upon publication in 1895, became one of the first bestsellers of the modern era. It features an artist’s model named Trilby O’Ferrall who is hypnotized by the frustrated musician Svengali into becoming a world-class singer.

91.24] Broadwood ... La Petite Vitesse: from the first page of du Maurier’s Trilby, a description of the studio apartment in Paris occupied by Trilby’s three male friends: “The big piano, a semi-grand by Broadwood, had arrived from England by ‘the Little Quickness’ (la Petite Vitesse, as the goods trains are called in France), and lay, freshly tuned, alongside the eastern wall. . . .”

92.1] the man once the best pianist of his time at the Leipzig Conservatory: from du Maurier’s description of Svengali in part 2 of Trilby, which Gaddis continues to paraphrase.

92.10] Sigi ... paper on the psychological mechanism of hysteria: early in his career Freud collaborated with Josef Breuer on the use of hypnosis in the treatment of hysteria; their paper, On the Psychical Mechanism of Hysterical Phenomena (1893, English trans. 1909), expanded in Studien über Hysterie (1895), marked the beginnings of psychoanalysis in the discovery that the symptoms of hysterical patients--directly traceable to psychic trauma in earlier life--represent undischarged emotional energy. The work was poorly received by the medical profession, and the two men soon separated over Freud's growing conviction that the undefined energy was sexual in nature.

92.18] He passed a hand ... Svengali!: also from part 2 of Trilby. Svengali turns Trilby into a kind of automaton (to give voice to his own self-who-could-do-more), similar to the doll created by Dr. Coppélius in Tales of Hoffmann, below.

92.21] Oh! presque plus de tout, monsieur!: “Oh! hardly at all, sir!” says Trilby after Svengali cures her migraine with hypnosis.

92.22] cri du coeur: Svengali is stunned by Trilby’s “cry from the heart” (she bellows “Milk below” when in high spirits) and realizes the potential in her voice.

92.24] its roof like the dome of the Panthéon ... sounding board: quoted directly from Trilby (with some elisions); the Panthéon is the one in Paris, not in Rome.

93.16] Offenbach’s one wish ... dolls by Spalanzani ... sings herself to death: Jacques Offenbach began composing his opera Tales of Hoffmann in 1877 (hence “a year too late” for the watershed year 1876), but died four months before its premiere in early 1881. In act 1, Hoffmann loves and loses a woman named Olympia, who turns out to be a doll created by her “father” Spalanzani and Dr. Coppélius. In act 3, Hoffmann loves and loses a woman named Antonia, who is warned that if she continues singing she will die; the evil Dr. Miracle convinces her to sing anyway, and she dies. Gaddis’s notes indicate his source was The Victor Book of the Opera (1929).

93.21] Svengali ... flageolet: these details are revealed by Svengali’s friend Gecko at the end of the novel after Trilby has died; a flageot is a kind of tin whistle Svengali used to teach singing.

93.24] Gott im Himmel! Wieder zurück!: “God in heaven! Back again!” says Marta (Svengali’s aunt) as Trilby begins singing again in part 8 just before she dies.

94.1] one note drawn through all the colors of the rainbow:
also from Gecko’s story in part 8.

95.19] the Impromptu: in part 1 of Trilby, Svengali plays Chopin’s Impromptu in A Flat (1837) on the piano, in part 6 Trilby performs a vocalized version, and in part 8 she sings it and, like Antonia in Tales of Hoffmann, dies.

95.20] age withering arrogant youth: in R (63, 938) Gaddis had quoted Enobarbus’s praise of Cleopatra: “Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale / Her infinite variety” (Antony and Cleopatra 2.2.240-41).

96.10] Youth with its reckless exuberance: in letters written late in life, Gaddis often quoted a favorite line from Shakespeare’s As You Like It (3.4.39): “But all’s brave that youth mounts, and folly guides.”

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