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)

242/??? - Schwabing Quarter
Artistic district in Munich, stomping grounds for a young Hitler.

242/??? - Brennessel cabaret
A nightclub in the Schwabing Quarter popular w/ early National Socialist figures.

242/??? - D'Annunzio . . . Kautsky's Independents
A collection of German and Italian political buzzwords. Hitler, Mussolini and the National Socialists require no comment. D'Annuzio (1863-1938) was an artistic and political figure in Italy, influential in the rise of the Italian Fascist Movement. Fiume was an eastern European city/state, which gained its autonomy from Austria in 1779 and maintained this status until Fascists came to power in 1922 and agreed to annexation by Italy in 1924. Italia irredentia was a philosphical movement which advocated the expansion of Italy to its "natural borders" (in which Italian was spoken) including Malta as well as territory from France, Greece, Switzerland, as well as various eastern European nations. Kautsky's Independents were followers of German socialist leader (and marxist critic) Karl Joseph Kautsky (1854-1938).

242/??? - Someday we'll need you . . .
Prefiguring the fate of Mondaugen as well as Franz Pokler in Gravity's Rainbow.

245/??? - Vernichtungs Befehl
German: annihilations command.

247/??? - the Japanese . . .bottled us up in Port Arthur
Port Arthur was a deep water port and Russian naval base in Manchuria, at the time, one of the most heavilty fortified positions in the world. The Japanese laid seige to the port from August 1904 - January 1905, during the Ruso-Japanese War. The seige resulted in the almost complete destruction of the Russian fleet and the surrender of the Russian forces there.

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.

249/??? - heterodont configuration
Heterodont describes animals with more than one kind of tooth--humans, for instance have incisors as well as molars. Given the conversation, is Eigenvalue using this as a psychodontic description of Stencil's character?

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).

269/??? - B.O.Q.
Bachelor Officers' Quarters

269/??? - The Southern Cross
A constellation visible in the southern hemisphere, formerly much valued by sailors.

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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