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xml:lang="en" lang="en" dir="ltr"> Chapter 10 - Thomas Pynchon Wiki | Vineland

Chapter 10

Please keep these annotations SPOILER-FREE by not revealing information from later pages in the novel.

Page numbers refer to editions with 385 pages, where the story begins on page 3. Not sure if there are other editions with variant pagination. Please let us know otherwise.

Page 192

"Zero Profile Paint & Body"
Another zero.

"proprietary lacquer"
Wonder Woman's Invisible Airplane

makes Trans-Am invisible. A distant echo of Imipolex G in Gravity's Rainbow?

A not-so-distant echo of Wonder Woman's invisible airplane.

Similar, Predator-esque camo, turns up in Against the Day as well.

Page 193

"little robot fridge [named Raoul], with two round video screens...each with an image of a cartoon eye."
This is so cute! And, significantly, this robot icebox delivers "refrigerator tunes."

"tachyon chamber"
Science fiction window dressing, presumably an imaginary subassembly of the make-believe time machine. Tachyons are whimsical sub-atomic particles; the root is from the Greek = swift. The important feature of tachyons is that they travel faster than light, and would therefore (if they existed) allow communication with the past.

Trivia alert: tachyons figure prominently in the 1980 serial The Leisure Hive of Doctor Who. Be careful spotting possible Doctor Who references in Pynchon. Once you start, there's no end to them, and all, perhaps, purely coincidental. This one, however, seemed worthy of mentioning since "The Leisure Hive" was a famous Doctor Who serial that predated "Vineland" and actually had a kind of tachyon chamber in it.


"exactly a tenth of a second after the warranty ran out, the 'sucker blew..."
Clearly a hair-trigger critical-need-detector.

Page 194

"distant wash of freeway sound, the concrete surf"
Nice writing. Is this the sound beer-riders hear? Or Chuck Berry's "highway sound" (from "Maybelline")?

Page 195

"ECO stock"
See note, p. 116.

Page 196

"grown up in New York City and, except for geographically, never left it..."
Ah, we know the type.

Page 197

"Xanthocroid looks"
Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895) classified mankind into types, according to physical appearance. Xanthochroi, one of his classes, is a subdivision of the Leiotrichi, or smooth-haired type, having yellow or light-colored hair and a pale complexion. This is the prevailing type in Northern Europe. Aryan. Either Pynchon, his editor, or his typesetter has dropped the "h" in "chroi."

"Sledge Poteet"
Poteet, Texas is a small town south of San Antonio. Comic-strip hero Steve Canyon's ward was adopted from an orphanage there, and bore the name "Poteet Canyon."

Sledge Poteet also appears in Inherent Vice.

Page 198

"Tsuris"
Yiddish for "trouble."

"Tzimmes"
Yiddish for "a state of confusion." Yiddish is very rich in words for trouble and confusion.

"When backs were left uncovered and chores undone..."
The interpersonal dynamics of 24fps are very convincing.

Page 199

"shaygetz"
Yiddish for "non-Jewish man." This one happens to be Brock Vond.

Page 200

"her faithful 16mm Canon Scoopic"
Canon Scoopic 16

The Canon Scoopic 16, introduced in 1965, was the first 16mm movie camera with a built-in zoom lens. It has a phallic appearance.

"this one [shot] of Brock ended up on a bedsheet"
Specifically, this means projected on an improvised bedsheet screen, but of course it also foreshadows the smell of sexual developments before the fact.

"...you got some real pretty takes of this creep..."
DL catches on right away that Frenesi is falling for Vond.

"The roll ended."
But the flashback continues. Very smooth transition.

Page 201

"Then a man in a uniform, with a big pistol, would have to make you come"
Sinister/sexy wordplay foreshadows the rapid development of Vond's takeover of Frenesi, and her infatuation with him. It's actually a microcosmic bondage scene, in which Frenesi, the bound partner, is freed of responsibility and guilt.

"arguments about light"

Here Pynchon exposes the arguments that 24fps have about light. Though they believe they are all working for one cause, this seems to be their major argument, something they cannot agree upon. Meaning-of-life/origin-of-life/religious metaphor? See also p. 185.

"grid-access devices"
Some resonance here to Gravity's Rainbow, and the tale of Byron the Bulb.

Page 202

"Central Power itself, merciless as a tornado ... only become, for a while, less visible"
This is a clue about what it is about Brock Vond that attracts Frenesi.

"You don't die for no motherfuckin' shadows"
Good advice.

Page 203

"CZ gas"
High-powered tear gas — but note that the initials are the same as DL's Czech motorcycle.

The riot control gas CS was used in the 1960's to break-up demonstrations in Berkeley. I can't find any references to an actual incapacitating agent called "CZ".


Chapter 1
pp. 3-13
Chapter 2
pp. 14-21
Chapter 3
pp. 22-34
Chapter 4
pp. 35-55
Chapter 5
pp. 56-67
Chapter 6
pp. 68-91
Chapter 7
pp. 92-106
Chapter 8
pp. 107-129
Chapter 9
pp. 130-191
Chapter 10
pp. 192-203
Chapter 11
pp. 204-217
Chapter 12
pp. 218-267
Chapter 13
pp. 268-293
Chapter 14
pp. 294-322
Chapter 15
pp. 323-385
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