Chapter 4

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 50

Today, after a deceptively sunny and uneventful spin
Friday, March 27, 1970, the fourth day of the narrative, and Good Friday.

Hughes Company property
Hughes Aircraft Company was a major aerospace and defense company founded by Howard Hughes. The group was based in Culver City, California. Wikipedia

Page 51

In Vineland, while hassling dopers in Gordita Beach, Hector Zuniga's radio dial was always tuned to KQAS.

"I really want to tell you, man, about my car radio?" He moved closer to Mucho, who'd already read and filed Hector's story by now, and would presently begin to edge away. "Which is kin' of unique 'causs it only gits this one station? KQAS! Kick-Ass 460 on th' AM dial!
460 megahertz is the police band.

Droolin' Floyd Womack
See page 195 in Bleeding Edge where DFW also makes appearance, with a song as well.

Ondas Nudosas
Spanish: "Gnarly Waves," Pynchon's hilarious (and also accurate) translation of surfer-speak for waves that are great to ride but challenging. The Spanish "nudo," interestingly, in addition to "knot," also carries the meaning "node." Perhaps a philologist can tell us why "knot" didn't bring that meaning with it from the German "Knoten," which also carries the meaning of "node." In any case, "ondas nudosas" could be read as an allusion to the node of meaning surrounding the images of Lemuria, surfing and the mysterious excursions of the Golden Fang in Inherent Vice. "Nudo" and "nude" are false cognates: "nude" in English is rendered into Spanish as "desnudo" -- implicitly "unknotted" and therefore "unclothed."

Page 52

Fritz Drybeam
How much do you want to bet that ol' Fritz has CIA connections?

Truth serum. Same kind the CIA uses
See: Pynchon's California Trilogy and the CIA

Today Doc found Fritz
Morning, Friday, March 27, 1970, the fourth day of the narrative.

Dodge Super Bee

1969 Dodge Super Bee, Photo from Wikipedia

Page 53

"It's a network of computers, Doc. all connected by phone lines. UCLA, Isla Vista, Stanford. Say there's a file they have up there and you don't, they'll send it right along at fifty thousand characters per second."

The ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) created by ARPA of the United States Department of Defense during the Cold War, was the world's first operational packet switching network, and the predecessor of the global Internet.Wikipedia

An interesting discussion about ARPAnet on pg. 195.

patchouli scent
Pronounced pat choo lee (a spondee), a patchouli sent according to Wiki can be found in incense, insect repellents, and alternative medicine--these days. I don't think the smell is particularly pleasant to the modern sense of smell for it was used as a perfume for centuries according to Wiki.--Green (talk) 14:59, 11 July 2012 (PDT)
NB: Patchouli oil was popular with hippies (both men and women) in the 1960s because of its spiritual connotations (in yoga and meditation, for example) -- and because it helped mask the smell of marijuana.

Page 54


Created as the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) in February 1958. Its creation was directly attributed to the launching of Sputnik and to U.S. realization that the Soviet Union had developed the capacity to rapidly exploit military technology. Darpa Website

TRW Incorporated was an American corporation involved in a number of businesses, mostly defense-related, but including automotive, aerospace and credit reporting."Wikipedia

Ramo isn't telling Woolridge? [sic]
The 1958 merger of Thompson with the Ramo-Wooldridge Corporation (named after Simon Ramo and Dean Wooldridge) was named Thompson Ramo Wooldridge Inc., then shortened to TRW Inc. in 1965.Wikipedia

The Ramo-Wooldridge Corporation's main business, from 1954, was acting as the principal technical advisor to the Air Force on the development of the US intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) program. The technical foundation of that effort was, of course, the German V2 program, a principal focus of Gravity's Rainbow. Reference and another one.

Boeing was a contractor for the Minuteman missile system, part of the ICBM program. As a technical writer for Boeing, Pynchon's primary subject was Boeing missile work, including the Minuteman program. Reference

The Ramo and Wooldridge reference, at least for people with very long memories, may not be as obscure as it first appears. Link

The phrasing also recalls the old New York saying, "Does Macy's tell Gimbels?" This referred to two competing department stores a block away from each other near Penn Station. Macy's is still there, but Gimbels is long gone. Reference

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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