- Please keep these annotations SPOILER-FREE by not revealing information from later pages in the novel.
Page numbers refer to editions with 369 pages, where the story begins on page 1. Not sure if there are other editions with variant pagination. Please let us know otherwise.
means Fate or fortune, but note also the other meanings below connected both to the history of the Vegas strip detailed here and to a certain earlier novel by Mr. Pynchon with "Lot" in the title:
Turkish, from Persian qismat; from Arabic qisma, lot; from qasama, to divide.
"page right out of history," as the Flintstones might say
The Flintstones is animated American television sitcom that ran from 1960 to 1966 on ABC, produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions. The Flintstones theme begins:
- Flintstones. Meet the Flintstones.
- They're the modern stone age family.
- From the town of Bedrock,
- They're a page right out of history.
Qiana: silky nylon made by DuPont that swept the fashion world in the 1970s. Fake-silk shiny material often used in bold patterns and, yes, disco-clothing/costumes. Difficult to tailor, apparently. Trust me, you'll know it when you see it.
As Doc himself pointed out on page 21, when Jade asked if he was a cop.
lines of latitude
Impossible not to think of Mason & Dixon here.
Haute couture for men. This could be a very expensive suit considering it was custom made for the individual, starting from hand-picked fabrics, and "created without use of a pre-existing pattern." Sign of a man who's really into suits, in other words.
Aimee Semple McPherson-type
Evangelist, very popular in the 20's and 30's, founder of the Foursquare Church. She's mentioned here because she was allegedly abducted, only to escape several days later and stumble out of the Arizona desert. But her stories had some holes and raised a lot of questions. Read more here.
Obvious joke on a hippie, sandal wearing, private investigator, but also, just perhaps, with a hint of Dashiel Hammett's infamous 'gunsel.' Listen to Pynchon himself say 'gumsandal' on the video promo to Inherent Vice.
Marty Robbins'd call foul evil deeds.
Marty Robbins' hit country song El Paso.
Casey Kasem's Saturday-morning Shaggy voice
That's right. Legendary radio host Casey Kasem was the voice of Shaggy on the original Scooby Doo cartoon, which premiered in 1969. How many Scooby Doo references does this make?
settled in in front of All-Nite Freaky Features
Late night, Wednesday, April 29, 1970.
awakening next morning to Henry Kissinger
Morning, Thursday, April 30, 1970
tiptoein through no tulips
Another reference to Tiny Tim.
et cetera et cetera, and so forth as the King of Siam always sez
In the 1956 film The King and I, Yul Brynner, who played King Mongkut of Siam, repeatedly used the phrase "et cetera, et cetera, et cetera" to characterize the King as wanting to impress with his great knowledge of many things and his importance in not having to detail them. This was based upon the usage in the book Anna and the King of Siam which related the real king's playful interest in numerous things, with the phrase, "&c, &c" (used often by Pynchon).
Evening came, taking everybody by surprise.
Evening, Thursday, April 30,1970.
Eskenazi (1890-1980) was a famous Greek singer of Rebetiko and traditional Greek music from Asia Minor. Her recording career extended from the late 1920s into the 1970s. Her style was called Rebetiko, a type of Greek urban folk music that combines European and Middle Eastern music, and sometimes called the Greek blues, the themes being predominantly hard-luck women, no-good men, drinking, hashish and poverty.
Smith (1894–1937) was an American blues singer. Sometimes referred to as "The Empress of the Blues," she is often regarded as one of the greatest singers of her era and a major influence on subsequent jazz vocalists. Wikipedia
female singers of Rebetiko music (see Rosa Eskenazi above)
and in first light got to the turnoff
Dawn, Friday, May 1, 1970.
According to Wikipedia: A trademarked brand of power cable, often used in a generic sense to refer to any non-metallic sheathed electrical cable.
Riggs Warbling with a couple weeks' start on a beard
I'm hoping that this will help to connect the timelines of the first and second halves of the book.
more space, judging from the outside, than there could possibly be in here.
Remember the house and the carriage from Mason & Dixon?
They left him watching Let's Make a Deal
Midday, Friday, May 1, 1970.
WELCOME TOOBFREEX! BEST CABLE IN TOWN!
"[T]ime-zone issues" and "a strange hiccup in space-time" indeed. The date is 1970 and cable TV is rare and usually not so encyclopedic in its offerings as Doc finds available from this motel. According to Wikipedia on U.S. cable TV history, "In 1975, HBO (Home Box Office) was the first cable network to be delivered nationwide by satellite transmission. Prior to this, starting in 1972, it had been quietly providing pay programming to CATV systems in Pennsylvania and New York, using microwave technology for transmission. HBO was also the first true premium cable (or "pay-cable") network. However, there were notable precursors to premium cable in the pay-television industry that operated during the 1950s and 1960s (with a few systems lingering until 1980)." Via this mysterious motel's own version of premium cable, then, Doc seems to have entered a worm-hole in Time and traveled into the future, allowing him to preview the explosion of cable TV offerings for premium subscribers (including re-runs of favorite shows from the '50s and '60s) that proliferated only well after 1970. This time-travel moment enables Pynchon to revel in the great cornucopia of "video universe" references that spills out onto the next page. But the tone of the passage darkens considerably, despite Doc being mesmerized by cable's illusion of infinite choice and perfect reception/recall (vs. the lousy reception on Rigg's portable black and white TV). Doc senses uneasily that a "parenthesis" in time of what he thought was freedom may be closing, or has already closed....
While there's something to this - and the text itself does refer to a "strange hiccup in space-time" - no supernatural explanation is necessary. Local cable systems were fairly common in 1970 in areas with poor over-the-air reception. Entrepreuneurs, or in some cases governments, would erect an antenna large enough to pick up broadcast stations, then run cable to local users who otherwise would have no reception at all. Such a system, with a big enough antenna, located near the border between Mountain and Pacific Time, could pick up numerous stations, including network affiliates in different time zones, which would show the most of the same programming, but an hour apart. Note
Ya gonna eat dis toikey!
As Glenn Kenny points out, the actual quote is "Cawve da toikey." Was it Pynchon's intention to misquote or a lapse in memory?
...Toobfreex at play in the video universe...stubbing it out for good.
Possible statement of the Inherent Vice that closed "this little parenthesis of light", the Psychedelic Sixties?
the tropic isle
"Gilligan's Island" leads, of course, this list of '50s & '60s TV shows
the Long Branch Saloon
"Miss Kitty" Russell's saloon in Dodge City, KS in the long-running "Gunsmoke" more info here
the Starship Enterprise
Captain Kirk's ship on "Star Trek", the cancellation of which sparks protests earlier in the book
Hawaiian crime fantasies
"Hawaii Five-0" more info here
cute kids...with invisible audiences
Is there anything more more of a "low level bummer" about television than the laugh track? In later decades, it was sometimes replaced by a live audience, and more recently by comedies with neither. for a defense of the "laugh track"
a slave girl in a bottle
Barbara Eden as Jeannie in "I Dream of Jeannie" coming 11/09 on DVD
and Arnold the Pig
Fred and Doris Zifel's pig on "Green Acres" more info here
...how a certain hand might reach terribly out of the darkness and reclaim the time, easy as taking a joint from a doper and stubbing it out for good.
Can't help thinking about the great 'wave speech' from Thompson's "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." Worth reading/watching/listening to (pick your format) alongside of "Inherent Vice." Video clip of Depp reading from it.
Doc didn't fall asleep until close to dawn
Early morning, Saturday, May 2, 1970.