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xml:lang="en" lang="en" dir="ltr"> Chapter 5 - Thomas Pynchon Wiki | Vineland

Chapter 5

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 56

"Kahuna Airlines"
A reference to those silly AIP beach party movies in which Frankie Avalon was "The Big Kahuna." Kahuna was the Hawaiian title for a priest, expert, teacher, and/or adviser, and the term is still used in that context by native Hawaiians. A kahuna nui was a high priest.

Kahuna Airlines is also in Pynchon's 2009 novel Inherent Vice.

Page 57

"Feel like Mildred Pierce's husband, Bert"
Another movie reference, this time to a 1945 Joan Crawford movie, Mildred Pierce, based on James M. Cain's novel.

"Dark Ocean Hotel, a towering dihedral..."
Zoom Shot from Hawaii Five-O

This is a disguised version of the Ilikai Hotel. In Hawaiian, ilikai means "surface of the sea". The Ilikai is famous for its appearance in a distinctive helicopter zoom shot in the opening titles of the TV show Hawaii Five-O. Note the dihedral shape of the Ilikai in the first frame. The last frame shows Jack Lord as Steve McGarrett, the star of the show. Hawaii Five-O is referenced several times in the next few pages.

Page 58

"maiden voyage into the green seas of jealousy"
Nice use of color and imagery here. "Green" both signifying newness as well as fertility of suspicious thoughts?

Recall the Dark Ocean Hotel from the previous page.

"ankling"
Variety show-biz usage, meaning to walk out of, or quit. It's very appropriate for Sasha with her film-biz background.

Page 59

"those eyes of blue painted blue, as the Italian oldie goes..."
The oldie, which is "Volare," goes, "nel blu, nel pinto di blu," or however it's spelled in Italian.

"on the astral night flights he would make to be near and haunt her as best he knew how..."
As Zoyd describes to Prairie (p. 40). A sad, moving rendition of lost love.

Page 60

"sex fantasy...[or] ex fantasy"
Always ready for a play on words, that Pynchon.

Hawaii . . . Suicide Fantasy Packages
For another scene of love sick men wanting to commit suicide in Hawaii, see Inherent Vice, pg. 191.

"Book him, Danno..."
Zoyd's suicide fantasy features a Hawaii 5-0 denouement. Most episodes of Hawaii Five-O ended with the arrest of criminals with McGarrett's catch phrase to Williams, "Book 'em, Danno!" with the offense occasionally added after this phrase, such as "-Murder one!". The Tube forces us to look at the real world via its pre-packaged perceptions. (Incidentally, the Hawaii 5-0 theme surfaces at least two other places -- including the tune played by Takeshi's electronic Giri card.)

Page 61

"zoot-suit effect"
Pynchon is still hung up on these baggy zoots, which were radical black/Latino fashion statements in the early-mid forties. Read more about 'em in Gravity's Rainbow.

"gig of death"
Typical Pynchonian mysterioso.

Page 62

"dash-one"
Military slang for the user manual. A common element in Pynchon's work is his peppering of slang phrases and references stemming, presumably, from his two years in the US Navy.

Page 64

"Do You Believe in Magic?"
The Lovin' Spoonful song, on Youtube.

Page 65

"title theme from Godzilla"
Listen on YouTube.

Page 66

"Takeshi"
Pynchon is fond of transplanting characters from one novel to another. Takeshi Fumimoto is a perfect example. He made his first appearance as a bit player in Gravity's Rainbow where he was one of a pair of wacky kamikaze pilots. His first name is almost surely borrowed from Takashi Shimura, the star of Godzilla -- a film referenced in the very same sentence, when Zoyd plays the Godzilla theme music to accompany Takeshi's first appearance. (Pynchon seems to have been thinking about this beast for some time: There's a boat named Godzilla II in The Crying of Lot 49 -- and the word is that he loves Japanese horror flicks. In fact, at one point rumor had it that he was writing a book with Mothra as a major character.) Godzilla is referenced several times in Pynchon's 2009 novel Inherent Vice.

To read why Thomas Pynchon likes Godzilla and other Badasses, there is no better source than his own essay Is it O.K. to be a Luddite?.

In Spanish, "fumo" = "I smoke." "Mota" is northern Mexico slang for marijuana.


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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