Chapter 14

Please keep these annotations SPOILER-FREE by not revealing information from later pages in the novel.
492-page edition / 547-page edition
???/409 -- baión rhythm

Brazilian rhythm originating from the native peoples in North East Brazil. Here's a sample

393/437 -- Le Soleil

Literally translates to "the Sun." This was a real newspaper which ceased publication in 1915. The paper lost a large amount of readership after supporting Capt. Dreyfus in 1898. Pynchon may also be invoking Rimbaud's poem "Sun and Flesh" (as per his mention on ???/430).

394/437 -- l'Heuremaudit

In French Mélanie's name means "Time of the damned" or "Cursed hour."

396/??? -- Porcépic

In French, a porcupine.


399/444 - La Libre Parole. . .Captain Dreyfus
La Libre Parole was an anti-semitist newspaper founded by Edouard Drumont in 1892. The captain in question was Afred Dreyfus. Dreyfus, a Jewish officer in the French Army, was accused and convicted of spying based on little evidence - a verdict highly influence by anti-semitism. He was eventually exonerated after the actual spy was caught. The "Dreyfus Affair" was one of the major political dramas of the time and a rallying cry for forces fighting against antisemitism in France.


414/460 -- Sgherraccio, a mad Irrendentist

Sgherraccio is a member of a movement in Malta which sought to break away from British rule and join Italy; also, more generally, irredentists are members of a movement which seeks to break away from foreign rule and join its ethnically related unit. The word was coined in Italy from the phrase Italia irredenta ("unredeemed Italy"). This originally referred to Austro-Hungarian rule over mostly or partly Italian-inhabited territories such as Trentino and Trieste during the 19th and early 20th century. Sgherraccio, like the Florentine Ferrante, is a fierce Italian patriot. His name derives from the Italian phrase alla sgherra which means "cocked" as in a cocked hat, denoting arrogance, thus the metonym sgherro for a cocky person, i.e., a gangster or tough guy. The Italian suffix "-accio" denotes badness or ugliness and reinforces the gangster meaning. That Sgherraccio is a badass gangsta.

Italian suffixes

Italia Irredenta


Chapter 1
In which Benny Profane, a schlemihl and human yo-yo, gets to an apocheir
9/1
Chapter 2
The Whole Sick Crew
44/39
Chapter 3
In which Stencil, a quick-change artist, does eight impersonations
61/59
Chapter 4
In which Esther gets a nose job
95/97
Chapter 5
In which Stencil nearly goes West with an alligator
111/115
Chapter 6
In which Profane returns to street level
134/141
Chapter 7
She hangs on the western wall
152/161
Chapter 8
In which Rachel gets her yo-yo back, Roony sings a song, and Stencil calls on Bloody Chiclitz
213/229
Chapter 9
Mondaugen's story
229/247
Chapter 10
In which various sets of young people get together
280/305
Chapter 11
Confessions of Fausto Maijstral
304/333
Chapter 12
In which things are not so amusing
347/385
Chapter 13
In which the yo-yo string is revealed as a state of mind
367/407
Chapter 14
V. in love
393/437
Chapter 15
Sahha
415/461
Chapter 16
Valletta
424/471
Epilogue, 1919
456/507
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