Chapter 9

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

229/??? - Kalkfontein South
Site of present day Karasburg, Namibia, which still hosts a Kalkfontein Hotel.

229/??? - Windhoek
Capital of Namibia, seat of German control during colonial period.

230/??? - Karl Baedeker
Too late to be the publisher of the once Baedeker travel guides, a household name in the 19th century, upon which Pynchon relied heavily for names & details about colonial Africa in his short story "Under the Rose" as well as V.

230/??? - spherics. . .H. Barkhausen
Technically, a spheric is one descriptor for the sounds created by natural radio emisions from the earth or the atmosphere -- "whistlers" and "tweaks" being two other forms. The effect, as noted, was discovered by Heinrich Barkhausen (1881-1956), a German physicist who taught at Technische Hochschule in Dresden.

230/??? - . . . what had once been a German colony
Namibia was formerly called South West Africa, and was originally a German colony. The territory was lost after WWI, and placed by the League of Nations under the authority of South Africa.

231/??? - Warmbad District
An area roughly 50km south of Karasburg (in which resides our speaker) around the modern city of Warmbad. Considered to be the site of the beginning of the Great Resistance War when, in 1903, Jacobus Christian was shot resisting arrest by a German Military Detachment. The region was also the site of the 1922 uprising, sparked by locals refusal to turn over resistance leader Abraham Morris.

231/??? - Bondelswaartz
The Bondelswarts Nama (sp?) were the first known settlers of the Warmbad area.

231/??? - Abraham Morris has crossed the Orange
Abraham Morris was cocommander to Jacob Marengo during the Great Resistance War of 1903-1909. He fled to South Africa during the war but returned to further the cause of resistance to the German colonial authorities. He crossed the Orange river into German territory on April 16, 1922

232/??? - Veldschoendragers and Witboois
Rebelious tribes from Southwest Africa. The Witboois were some of the first to refuse to sign treaties w/ the German colonial authorities or allow encroachment on their land, resulting in ongoing skirmishes w/ German forces from 1893-1894.

233/??? - . . . the days of Von Trotha
General Lother Van Trotha, veteran of actions in East Africa and China, arrived in South West Africa in 1904 to put down the Herero resistance. After defeating the Herero forces, he drove (and accompanying women & children) into the Kalahari, where most died of starvation. The tactics he used to break the spirit of the remaining Herero--hangings, mass-extermination and detention in concentration camps--resemble those of the "Final Solution" of the 3rd Reich.

239/??? schottische
A Bohemian folk dance.

239/??? - the nine planets

J. Kerry Grant in his Companion to V. correctly points out that a planetarium operating in 1922 would show only eight planets, as Pluto was not discovered until 1930, but he misses the point that the story "had become, as Eigenvalue put it, Stencilized." (p. 228)

248/268 - She was past forty and in love

"I am past forty and I am in love" was reportedly Duse's response when told about D'Annunzio's novel, Il Fuoco, in which she is portrayed unflatteringly.

258/280 - a lovely mare named Firelily

According to Molly Hite in Ideas of Order in the Novels of Thomas Pynchon (p.162, fn.12), one of the Third Reich's V-weapons was called "Feuerlily" (citing von Braun and Ordway's A History of Rocketry and Space Travel at page 112).

Chapter 1
In which Benny Profane, a schlemihl and human yo-yo, gets to an apocheir
Chapter 2
The Whole Sick Crew
Chapter 3
In which Stencil, a quick-change artist, does eight impersonations
Chapter 4
In which Esther gets a nose job
Chapter 5
In which Stencil nearly goes West with an alligator
Chapter 6
In which Profane returns to street level
Chapter 7
She hangs on the western wall
Chapter 8
In which Rachel gets her yo-yo back, Roony sings a song, and Stencil calls on Bloody Chiclitz
Chapter 9
Mondaugen's story
Chapter 10
In which various sets of young people get together
Chapter 11
Confessions of Fausto Maijstral
Chapter 12
In which things are not so amusing
Chapter 13
In which the yo-yo string is revealed as a state of mind
Chapter 14
V. in love
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Epilogue, 1919
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