Chapter 15

Revision as of 09:17, 16 January 2011 by PigBodine (Talk | contribs) (Page 261: typo?)

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.

Page 256

Around nightfall Tito let Doc off
Early evening, Saturday, May 2, 1970.

Manhattan Beach
Compare the parallel universes that fascinate viewers of the TV soap Dark Shadows, referenced earlier in Inherent Vice (128, etc.). Manhattan Beach also happens to be the California seaside town where Pynchon lived for many years in the 1960s and early 1970s while working on Gravity's Rainbow; it's loosely the model for Gordita Beach.

Page 257

Some college break or something.
Saturday, May 2, 1970, six days after Easter. It's plausible that Spring Break could be going on. [No--this is wacky chronology. Since when do universities have spring break in May? That's about when the spring semester ends. More likely the hazy chronology here marks Denis' own spaciness, hardly helpful to Doc trying to get his space-time bearings. It's nice to have Pynchon-Wiki give us such precise dates for the book's events, but readers need to remember that Doc's mental state often isn't so precisely locatable on a space-time coordinate grid.]

Denis drifted off to watch Lawrence Welk.
Evening, Saturday, May 2, 1970.

The cover of a 1969 album

Norma Zimmer
She performed on the Lawrence Welk show and, in the story's period, looked approximately like this.

Page 258

This ARPAnet trip is eating up my time
Fritz is perhaps the world's first Internet addict.

Page 259

mind if we call in the lab on this one?
Bigfoot is caught by a variation of his own gag from page 22: "we left the rottweiler back at the station."

if it happened to Thomas Noguchi
Thomas Noguchi, Los Angeles' widely admired chief coroner, was fired by the LA County Board of Supervisors in 1969, and only reinstated after a month-long hearing. The firing was a cause celebre at the time, involving accusations of racial discrimination (against the Board) and of egotism, publicity-seeking, an inordinately gleeful attitude toward death (especially celebrity death), and other personality issues (against Noguchi). In 1982, he was demoted to Deputy Coroner for similar reasons.

Page 260

I had been enjoying a quiet family evening...watching Lawrence Welk
Evening, Saturday, May 2, 1970. Saturday was the usual night for Welk. Bigfoot seems like a more likely fan of the show than Denis. Welk's show was probably the least hip show on TV, without even the ironic laughs of a Dragnet.

...a steep front edge to it and very short decay time
Wikipedia has an article about the ADSR envelope (attack, decay, sustain, and release). It is described in terms of synthesizers, but all sounds have these components.

Page 261

The Saturday horror movie tonight was
Late night, Saturday, May 2, 1970.

Val Lewton
Producer of "I Walked with a Zombie."

I Walked With a Zombie
1943 horror film directed by Jacques Tourneur. Trust me, the ending is confusing.

Larry Vincent
Real late-night TV host. Listen to a lo-fi clip.

Wiltern Theater
Famous Art Deco landmark/theater in Los Angeles.

news hour
This makes more sense as a typo for 'next hour' (or was the movie interrupted for an hour of news???).

Next morning...Sunday Times
Morning, Sunday, May 3, 1970.

Shoot the Pier
In surfing, to "shoot the pier" is to ride a surfboard in between the pilings of a pier.

Page 262

positioning the Book Review over his lap
He's hiding his erection.

Page 264

Which didn't keep Doc from driving up to Venice that evening
Evening, Sunday, May 3, 1970.

Page 267

Pynchon makes lagans - which are literally left by Wolfmann earlier, and by Venice dopers here - into a metaphor for things that are deliberately lost and found again. Among other people and things, this could allude to Coy Harlingen, Mickey Wolfmann, pieces of information (a basic element of nearly all detective stories), Mickey Wolfmann's conscience or lack thereof, and innocence and purity generally.

Page 270

ah you poor Swedish Fish
Used here in the slang sense of "a weak or inferior fellow" which is an old angler's term, according to A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, 8th Ed. by Eric Partridge [1] or perhaps more on point, in cards, slang for "an incompetent player whose incompetence can be exploited." [2] Also, see note for page 49.

Page 271

Eleventh Commandment about criticizing a fellow flatfoot [...] Is it okay to ask if this party is still on the job?
A bad pun on the Reagan-era Republicans' "eleventh commandment" not to criticize other Republicans. See note for page 48.

as Elvis always sez, when you have such luck
Doc is quoting "All Shook Up":

My hands are shaky and my knees are weak
I can't seem to stand on my own two feet
Who do you thank when you have such luck?
I'm in love
I'm all shook up

Page 273

Dig yourself
This was probably a common enough phrase, but perhaps--just maybe--there's a connection to Bob Dylan here. In Dylan's iconic video for "Subterranean Homesick Blues" (the one in which Dylan holds placards with snippets from the lyrics), there are only three cards Dylan holds up that are not part of the song lyrics, including one that says: "Dig Yourself" (the other two, which appear in succession, say "Watch it!" and "Here they come!"). See the video here. The card in question is at 1:51. (I know that that might be a stretch, but a guy can dream, can't he?)

See note for pg. 166.

They approached a courtyard building nearly dissolved in the evening
Evening, Sunday, May 3, 1970.

Page 274

The moon rose
Night, Sunday, May 3, 1970. Almost a full moon.

Chapter 1
pp. 1-18
Chapter 2
pp. 19-45
Chapter 3
pp. 46-49
Chapter 4
pp. 50-54
Chapter 5
pp. 55-67
Chapter 6
pp. 68-88
Chapter 7
pp. 89-110
Chapter 8
pp. 111-123
Chapter 9
pp. 124-153
Chapter 10
pp. 154-162
Chapter 11
pp. 163-185
Chapter 12
pp. 186-206
Chapter 13
pp. 207-234
Chapter 14
pp. 235-255
Chapter 15
pp. 256-274
Chapter 16
pp. 275-295
Chapter 17
pp. 296-314
Chapter 18
pp. 315-342
Chapter 19
pp. 343-350
Chapter 20
pp. 351-363
Chapter 21
pp. 364-369
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