Preface

Abbreviated Sources
and References


Annotations: title,
epigraph and
dedication


Part I

Part II
II.1 Synopsis
pp. 281-306
pp. 311-342
II.2 Synopsis
pp. 343-373
pp. 374-381
pp. 382-385
pp. 386-389
II.3 Synopsis
pp. 390-392
pp. 393-403
pp. 404-420
pp. 421-442
II.4 Synopsis
pp. 446-468
pp. 470-486
II.5 Synopsis
pp. 487-495
pp. 496-511
pp. 512-540
II.6 Synopsis
pp. 542-564
II.7 Synopsis
pp. 568-605
pp. 606-645
II.8 Synopsis
pp. 647-678
pp. 679-699
II.9 Synopsis
pp. 700-719


Part III

A Reader's Guide to William Gaddis's The Recognitions

      Index    

II.4 pp. pages 470-486

470.34] Kinder- und Hausmärchen: see 275.12 ff.

470.44] semper aliquid haeret: see 336.32.

471.26] You: The demands of painting [...] absolute death: an actual letter written by Sheri Martinelli (see note on Esme at 194.14) to WG in the late 1940s.

471.29] De Chirico: Giorgio di Chirico (1888-1978), Italian painter, considered the creator of "metaphysical" painting.

472.45] a bird with broken eggs inside: asked about this striking phrase, Martinelli told me it was an image from one of Anaïs Nin's books.

475.11] Rudy Vallee singing, Love Made a Gypsy Out of Me: Rudy Vallee (1901-86) was a popular singer and bandleader; the 1929 song was written by Fred Phillips, Harry DeCosta, and Leon Zimmerman. {Mark Hale}

475.27] Philogyny? [...] misogyny recapitulates philogyny [...] misologist?: philogyny=fondness for women; phylogeny=racial history of a related group of organisms; misogyny=hatred of women; misogamy=hatred of marriage; misologist=one who hates reasoning or enlightenment. A variant on Haeckel's biogenetic law "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny" is intended, and apparently "Willie" Gaddis himself is making the clever but unappreciated pun; cf. 478.28-29.

475.32] Baedeker's Babel: Karl Baedeker (1801-59) was the author of a famous series of travel-guide books, noted for their reliability and thoroughness. Babel (Genesis 11; i.e., Babylon) never merited a Baedeker's guide; the name is, of course, used figuratively for any confused, noisy place. For the relevance of the Tower of Babel myth to modern civilization (as well as a justification for the title "Baedeker's Babel" - Willie's fictional counterpart to R), see the chapter entitled "The Tower of Babel" in de Rougemont's DS.

475.39] Tiffany's: the fashionable New York jewelers.

476.24] Archimedes in his [...] bathtub: the principle of the displacement of water is said to have occurred to Greek mathematician and inventor Archimedes (ca. 287-212 B.C.) as he stepped into his bath.

477.1] wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners [...] into a nunnery: Hamlet 3.1.122-23.

477.5] Saint Jerome say about women? [...] She's the gate of Hell: de Rougemont attributes these words to Tertullian (DS 177).

477.6] "A foe to friendship [...] says Chrysostom: Saint John, surnamed Chrysostom ("Golden Mouthed")(347-407), one of the fathers of the Greek church, provided the following gloss on Matt. 19:10: "What else is woman but a foe to friendship, an unescapable punishment, a necessary evil, a natural temptation, a desirable calamity, a domestic danger, a delectable detriment, an evil of nature, painted with fair colours!" (MM 43).

477.10] Bruckner: Anton Bruckner (1824-96), Austrian organist and composer of church and symphonic music. Asked about Willie's claim "I'm doing for writing what Bruckner did for music," Gaddis explained: "I saw a parallel with Bruckner in the use of repetition, variation, and the whole volume getting bigger and bigger, so I tossed that in" (interview with Tom LeClair, 1981).

477.15] Pascal [...] alone in a small room: from his Pensées (#139).

477.24] I am one to tell you [...] beast with two backs: repeated from 200.36. Hannah is a palindromic name.

477.30] Das Unbeschreibliche [...] Das ewig-Weibliche: Goethe's Faust ends with the "Chorus mysticus" intoning:

Alles Vergängliche
Ist nur ein Gleichnis;
Das Unzulängliche,
Hier wird's Ereignis;
Das Unbeschreibliche,
Hier ist's getan;
Das Ewig-Weibliche
Zieht uns hinan.
All of mere transient date
As symbol showeth;
Here, the inadequate
To fullness groweth;
Here the ineffable
Wrought is in love;
The ever-womanly
Draw us above.

478.23] Mary Baker Eddy: (1821-1910), American religious leader, founder of Christian Science, the basic tenets of which were set forth in her book Science and Health (1875)(see 532.7) and continued in its organ, the Christian Science Monitor (1908- ). See Mark Twain's critical book Christian Science (1907), which Gaddis says he read (WG/SM).

478.32] Plato's Republic: see 105.16.

479.12] Uncle Tom's Cabin: the popular novel (1852) by Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-96), subject of a lame joke a few pages later (482.11-13). See also 826.35-37, 913.30.

481.19] Put off the old man, says the Bible: "Lie not to one another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him" (Col. 3:9-10; reworded in Eph. 4:22-24).

482.1] the pus of Saint John of the Cross: see 827.6.

482.40] gypsies: the "lore" Esme relates is from popular superstition rather than actual history; her "They" refers to the Holy Family during their Egyptian sojourn. See Borrow's The Zincali, especially pp. 90-91 for the Gypsies' alleged origin.

484.9] when you lose someone . . . lose contact with someone you love: see 151.10.

485.24] Eine kleine Taverne im Golf von Napoli: "A Little Tavern on the Bay of Naples," a "tango-serenade" by Robert Stolz (music) and A. Steinberg-Frank (lyrics). {Mark Hale}

485.34] toot sweet: tout de suite (Fr.: "immediately, right away").

486.2] C.I.D.: Criminal Investigation Department (Scotland Yard).

486.27] Sir Walter Raleigh's cunning advance [...] yet fear I to fall": under this Queen Elizabeth wrote in reply: "If thy heart fails thee, climb not at all" (ODQ).

486.30] Fliege mit mir in die Heimat: "Fly with Me to the Homeland" (or "Fly Home with Me"), a Bavarian Oktoberfest tune. [MR]

      Index    

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