The Little Germaniad


Book I:


by Avi Ormane

(David Joseph Formanek)

for Susan Medyn, Wife and Muse

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i.   Smithtown, L.I., N.Y.

ii.    Boston

iii.  Invocation


iv.  Embarcation

v.    Escape

vi. Departure

vii. Pacific

viii.   Marks

xix.   Time

x.   Discipline

xi.  Pictures

xii. Art Theory

xiii.   Victuals

xiv.   Communication

xv.   Entertainment

xvi   Class

xvii. Port

xviii.   Graves

xix.   Paris

xx.   Pastorale


xxi.  Resettlement

xxii. Bees

xxiii.   Supplies

xxiv.   People Like Us

xxv.   Wild Boy

xxvi.  Bears

xxvii. Manners

xxviii.   Drinks

xxix.   Leather

xxx.   School

xxxi.  Art Classes

xxxii. Expatriate Economy

xxxiii.   Domestic Economy

xxxiv.   Music

xxxv. Mozart

xxxvi.  Papa Haydn

xxxvii. Local Boy

xxxviii.   Kinderverzahrer

xxxix.   Hazards

xl. News from Home

xli. Russians

xlii.   Romans

xliii.  St. Nicholas

xliv.  The Sicilian Expedition

xlv.   Pizza

xlvi.  Art and Foods

xlvii. On the Road

xlviii.   Naples

xlix.  Mountains

l.   Sicily

li.   Christmas

lii.  Palermo

liii. Prayers

liv.   Skiing

lv.  Lessons

lvi. Blind Man’s Bluff

lvii.   The Villa

lviii.  Quarters

lix.   Dinner

lx.  Library

lxi. Turks

lxii.   Going Native

lxiii.  Grounds

lxiv.  Paradise

lxv.   Groundbreaking

lxvi.  Pathètique

lxvii. Horses

lxviii.   Art and Woods

lxix.  Summit

lxx.   Relations


lxxi.  Divisions

lxxii. Bavaria

lxxiii.   The Art of the Spheres

lxxiv.   Fairy Tale Cinema

lxxv.   Towers

lxxvi.  Coercion

lxxvii. Dungeons

lxxviii.   Discrimination

lxxix.   Bingen on the Rhine

lxxx.    Germania

lxxxi.  Touring

lxxxii. Gates

lxxxiii.   Perceptions

lxxxiv.   Copenhagen


lxxxv.   Prehistory

lxxxvi.  On the Beach

lxxxxvii. Chicken

lxxxviii.   Artillery

lxxxix.   Nuclear Families

xc.   Bornholm

xci.  Art and Evolution

xcii. Giants and the Earth

xciii.   The Warship Vasa

xciv.   Scandinavian Morels

xcv.   Decisions


xcvi. Ferry

xcvii. Decay

xcviii.   Berlin

xcix.   Into the Zone

c.   Barbarian Gates

ci.  Noman’s Land

cii. Scenes of Bohemian Life

ciii.   Off the Cusp


civ.   Form

cv.   Money

cvi.  Next



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  2. Notes

    The Little Iliad is the fourth in the epic cycle of the Trojan War. The Iliad is the second; The Odyssey is the last. Events told in the Little Iliad include the contest for the armor of Achilles, the madness of the greater Ajax, Odysseus’s secret entry into Troy, his meeting with Helen, his theft of the Palladium, and the story of the Trojan Horse.

    Prolegomenon 1. “A preliminary discussion, especially a formal essay introducing a work of considerable length or complexity. 2. prolegomena. prefatory remarks or observations.” American Heritage Dictionary, third edition, 1992. Prolegs are the walking and grasping limbs of a caterpillar.
    Before the Zone Improvement Plan (ZIP Code) of 1963, letters addressed to towns on Long Island appended the abbreviation L.I., Little Iliad.
    1. Nesconset, variant form of Nissequogue, a hamlet of Smithtown, New York.
    2. Sewanhacky, Long Island, “place of shells,” cf. Whitman, “Paumanok.”
    The Sons of Liberty became the Improved Order of Red Men in 1833. The loft I rented in Albany NY from 1974 to 1986 had been their lodge (“wigwam”) starting in the 1870s.
    April 19, 1775. Patriots’ Day, a Massachusetts holiday, celebrated with musket fire and parades in Middlesex County towns. The Battle of Marathon, September (or August) 11, 490 BCE.
    Adlai Stevenson, Democratic candidate for president, 1952, 1956; US ambassador to the UN, 1961-65.
    I’d never heard of Vienna. I knew of Venice.
    3. Memory, i.e., Mnemosyne.
    The Library of Alexandriais said to have been burned on three or four occasions by the predecessors of subsequent regimes.
    November, 2007.
    The knotted string, or quipu, the communications technology of the Incas.
    5. Photographs had to be developed, and the prints travel by train or air to individual newspapers. Wirephoto systems were developed in 1921 and 1926; Associated Press inaugurated its picture service, Jan 1, 1935.

    First Leg
    4. The Hanseatic League, a medieval trading consortium of Northern German cities.
    “The Catalogue of Ships,” Book II of the Iliad.
    Oma, Ger. “Grandma.” Erna Löwenstein Nathan, née Kahn, 1900–2003.
    5. “All men will be brothers.” Friedrich Schiller, Ode to Joy, 1785. Music usually by Beethoven.
    Plimsoll lines painted on the side of a ship indicate safe loads for seasonal weather in different waters. The uppermost, TF, is Tropical Fresh. The lowest, WNA, stands for Winter, North Atlantic.
    6. Puppis, L., the poop.
    7. Visiting an infirmary, General George S. Patton struck a weeping soldier, weeping due to “Nerves, I guess.”
    USS Eisele, DE34.
    The 70-year American Century was proclaimed by Henry Luce, publisher of Time magazine, in an editorial in Life, 1941.
    8. By Robert Graves: I, Claudius; The Greek Myths, and for my bedtime reading, Tales of the Greek Gods and Heroes.
    Don Marquis, Archy and Mehitabel, 1927.
    Marks and pfennige: obsolete coins of the realm. You all use Euros now.
    9. Brice Marden (1938 –), contemporary painter.
    10. Pomeranian, a small, long-haired, black and white, short-tempered northern German breed of dog.
    For social control among the bonobos, see Ian Parker, “Swingers,” The New Yorker, July 30, 2007.
    Slaughter, slug, strafe. Three German cognates, the last a recent borrowing.
    12. Thor Heyerdahl, Aku-Aku, 1958.
    Life Magazine, one of the general interest magazines of the 20th century.
    Plastic means modeled from softer material, e.g., ceramics. Glyptic means carved, as from stone. John C. Overbeck III, in Greek Sculpture class, 1973.
    13. Suppefleisch. The slabs of beef that flavored the broth.
    The captain who; the captain, whom; the captain to whom; of the captain’s.
    14. Souk: a purpose-built Middle Eastern market structure, or any market in the Middle East.
    15. Moby-Dick. I thought I left it on the Broadway local subway, but now I think it was at the house of the girl I was kissing whose father walked in on us.
    Great circles, including the equator and the lines of longitude, have their center at the center of the earth. The shortest distance between two points on the surface of a sphere traces the path of a single great circle. Circles of smaller radii veer around the direct route. Larger diameter circles are tangent to the surface at a single point, and soar off into space.
    Drei, Ger. “three”, pronounced “dry”. In Europe, before the triumph of James Bond, a martini meant a glass of Martini & Rossi vermouth.
    Isaac Berlin (1888 – 1989). “Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better,” from Annie Get Your Gun, 1946. “God Bless America,” 1918, 1938.
    18. “‘Shut up,’ he explained.” Ring Lardner, quoted by Ruth Formanek and Anita Gurian in Why? Children’s Questions and How to Answer Them, 1980.
    Mary McCarthy, Birds of America, 1971.
    The Green Police, presumably the Ordnungspolizei, Order Police, a German national police organized 1936.
    19. “I see England, I see France, I see [insert name] ’s underpants.”
    “It is forbidden to close the doors [without occupying a booth?)].
    General Electric’s experimental artificial diamond research also inspired Kurt Vonnegut with “ice-nine.”
    I asked my father why parents always said this when they snapped your picture. He told me that photographers of old attached a stuffed or toy bird over the lens to attract the subject’s gaze.
    “Somewhere in France,” the censor-approved byline for First World War reporters.
    20. Continental ones have an upstroke, sevens are crossed. See 32, “Expatriate Economy.”

    21. On their way to the death camps, Nazis told Jews that they were being “resettled.”
    Vienna…. A paraphrase of a speech by Roosevelt.
    In addition to AM and FM, it was a short-wave radio.
    Joel, pronounced “Yo-el.”
    The Good Soldier Svejk, by Jaroslav Hasek, opus posthumus 1923. Czech soldiers served in the Austro-Hungarian army. His name is cognate with Ger. Schweig!, “Shut up!”
    22. Idlewild Airport, later John F. Kennedy International Airport.
    xxiv. For decades before he became a fictional detective, Perry Mason was the publishing house of The Youth’s Companion (1827 – 1929), a magazine of wide circulation and influence that published and promoted Francis Bellamy’s Pledge of Allegiance.
    27. “I kiss the hand, gracious lady.” Gnädige, pron. gun-aid-dig-uh.
    Schmaltz, rendered animal fat for cooking. Schmaltzy, i.e. corny.
    I mistook neuralgia. French students make time to read Proust’s novels, but I am not one.
    29. “All twisky,” like Moby-Dick’s jaw.
    30. Among the atrocities that he inflicted on the Caribbean populations as inducements to cooperation, Columbus cut off the hands of those natives who did not bring him enough gold.
    “The bottom line is that Texas and California are the biggest buyers of textbooks in the country, and what we adopt in Texas is what the rest of the country gets.” Alexander Stille, “Textbook Publishers Learn: Avoid Messing With Texas,” the New York Times, June 29, 2002.
    Two icons of Boston…. Cyrus E. Dallin (1861– 1944) created Paul Revere, The Appeal to the Great Spirit, The Angel Moroni, The Medicine Man, The Signal of Peace, The Scout, and Lethe. Dallin also sculpted a Julia Ward Howe. I organized his museum in Arlington, Mass.
    All German nouns have grammatical gender, masculine, feminine, or neuter.
    30. Double negatives. That girl could get me so confused.
    32. The hooked cross, das Hackenkreuz: the swastika.
    33. Dachau, a concentration camp north of Munich.
    Floridsdorf, a district of Vienna north of the Danube Canal.
    Grandma. Anna Formanek née Blaha, 1895– 1989.
    Cf. Robert Frost. Whose foods these are? Corporations’.
    34. Miriam Forman-Brunell, Babysitter, An American History, New York University Press 2009.
    John Cage, 1912–1992, composer, pioneered the “prepared piano,” inserting objects between, or altering the strings to create new sounds.
    35. Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, 1919–2006, soprano, and composer Richard Straus.
    Cherubino, Count Almaviva’s page. Don Giovanni has his own opera, and as Don Juan, a novel in verse, a tone poem, and movies.
    Susan M. Medyn, b. 1954
    36. Fulbright scholars were pursuing graduate studies overseas. The American community was small and close, so we saw a lot of them, clearly, too much.
    Hofburg, the Imperial palace in Vienna.
    “The way of a man with a maid,” Proverbs 30:19.
    37. Kinderverzahrer, child molester. Title of poem in Viennesse dialect by H.C. Artmann, performed by cabaret star Helmut Qualtinger.
    Babylon, a city on the south shore of Long Island.
    41. “Vienna’s where I learned when not to know is best.” This sentence is all German cognates.
    42. Hypocaust, (“under-heat”) radiant heating. Floors supported on brick piers lay over a hollow space connected to a furnace. Hot gases circulating through it vented via flues in the walls.
    Mithraism, a late Roman Empire mystery cult centered on the worship of the Persian god Mithras. It was the chief rival to Christianity among slaves and soldiers, and may owe its eclipse by Christianity to its men-only membership. Recently, the Mithraic iconography [petrus genetrix or tauroctony] has been derived from constellations: Orion or Perseus, Taurus, Canis, Leo, Scorpius, Hydra or Ophiuchus, Gemini.
    The Dual Monarchy, the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
    The Augustus and the Caesar were the simultaneously reigning executives of the later Roman Empire. On accession, the Caesar assumed the title Augustus.
    The battle of Austerlitz, 1805. Now Slavkov u Brna in Czechia, forty miles down the road from my grandparent’s birthplace, curiously also the name of the Columbia County hamlet where my parents bought a summer house in 1965, named by State Senator Martin van Buren, in response to a political opponent’s bill naming a small town in western New York “Waterloo.”
    Hungary was captured from the Turkish Empire by the Austrians. As in that old song, Istanbul was Constantinople. It fell under Soviet hegemony in 1945; a revolution was crushed in 1956. See 82, “Gates.”
    Burgenland, the eastern province of Austria.
    Miocene, c. 15 ma. “Lips … form prayers to broken stone.” T.S. Eliot, “The Wasteland,” 1922.
    Nissequogue, the river of Smithtown.
    43. Hit-or-miss literary sleuth Don Foster of Vassar believes that the author of “A Visit from St. Nicholas” was one Henry Livingston.
    “Kubla Khan” (1797, 1816), unfinished poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge that came to him in a trance induced by laudanum, a preparation of opium and alcohol.
    44. The Sicilian Expedition, Athens’ disastrous invasion of Sicily during the Peloponnesian War.
    “The curfew tolls the knell of parting day. / The lowing herd winds slowly o’er the lea.” Thomas Gray, “Elegy in a Country Churchyard.” 1751.
    45. St. Mark’s Bell Tower, rebuilt after its collapse in 1902.
    Bronze giants strike a bell with hammers at the top of a clock tower in St. Mark’s Square.
    47. Saturn, July, 1971, Captiva, Florida.
    48. Vesuvius: its last major eruption, March, 1944, now in its longest quiescence.
    Stephen Jay Gould (1941–2002). Week after week, the best lectures you could imagine.
    49. Saul Steinberg, All in Line, 1945, his first book of drawings.
    Dexedrine: Dexamphetamine.
    50. Scylla and Charybdis. Virgil locates them in the Straits.
    “Lava rocks as big as trucks.” They were English guests. They meant boxcars, or they would have said “Lorries.” I wrote firetrucks, the answer to a riddle by Soupy Sales.
    51. Barbara Tuchman, The March of Folly: from Troy to Vietnam, 1984.
    Vincent Scully, The Earth, the Temple, and the Gods, Revised edition, 1979. Describes the siting of sacred structures in sacred Greek landscapes.
    Smorgasbord is Swedish; we ate koldebord.
    52. My mother’s first camera, an Agfa. She has become a photographer since she retired.
    Event horizon, the bounds of a black hole.
    53. Pile, a large building or complex. The term implies a system of masonry held in place by gravity, as once all great buildings were.
    54. Anorak, a hooded coat, a parka. (Now an English term for an obsessive fan of subjects of marginal interest, a “geek” lacking social skills.)
    You may remember a 1966 novel by Richard Fariña that featured a rucksack.
    Westbahnhof, the railroad terminal for western, and now also eastern, routes.
    55. Stevenson’s other texts with good and bad brothers: The Master of Ballantrae, Kidnapped.
    57. A house of jack, in slang. The bank was the Kreditanstalt.
    Diamonds are carbon.
    58. Grimm’s Law describes the sound changes of consonants between the Germanic languages, esp. German, Dutch, English, Norse. Jacob Grimm, one of the two folklorist Grimm Brothers.
    Frances “Fritzi” Dillon Haywood (1908–1967). Professor, piano faculty, Mannes College of Music, New York City.
    59. “Round about the cauldron go.” Macbeth.
    For more about milk and anger, cf. The Ill & the Odd, “California German”.
    60. E.A. Poe, “The Raven,” 1845.
    Lord Bulwer-Lytton, The Coming Race, 1870. Author of The Last Days of Pompeii, and the opening sentence, “It was a dark and stormy night.” “Vril” survives in Bovril®, canned beef extract. Add hot water for beef tea. For Vheissu, cf. Thomas Pynchon, V., 1965.
    E.T.A. Hoffmann (1776–1822), author of The Nutcracker.
    Sydney Ross, professor of chemistry, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Ruskin collector, founder of the James Clerk Maxwell Foundation, Glasgow.
    61. Prince Eugene of Savoy, King John Sobieski III of Poland.
    Salmannsdorf, Suleiman’s Village.
    62. Traditional Austrian and Bavarian suede shorts with suspenders.
    Hugo Wolf (1860–1903), composer.
    Seven Beauties, Pasqualino Settebellezze, 1975, written and directed by Lina Wertmüller.
    63. A young man eligible for recruitment in WWI might amputate his trigger finger to evade service.
    64 Paradise, Horticulture, Court, Garden, Yard, Orchard, are derived from the same Indo-European word.
    “Halt dein Maul.” Idiomatic for “Shut up!”
    Beton brut, Fr., cast reinforced concrete. Origin of the architectural style Brutalism.
    65. Radio announcers take tobacco to achieve that gravelly sound. The process, smoking cigarettes, is called “finishing” the voice. (Phil Blanchard, Chicago Sun Times, personal communication.) Edward Murrow (1908–1965) retired from broadcasting news, which he invented, and was appointed to head the US Information Agency by President Kennedy. He died of lung cancer.
    Did she think, John….
    “Like the flying fish
    Gasping on deck, because you soar too high, Bob,
    And fall, for lack of moisture, quite a-dry, Bob!”
    —Byron, Don Juan, Dedication, stanza iii. A scandalous allusion.
    66. Grinzing, a neighboring district of Vienna, rich in heurigens, wine gardens where new wine is served, a traditional evening destination of Viennese and tourists.
    I’m inclined to class myself with those who believe that The Third Man (1949) may be the best of all movies. It certainly is one of the best ten. To cut—Victorian term for ignoring an aquaintance to his face. Les enfants du paradis, 1945. Les Miserables, 1935: Javert’s pursuit of Valjean is the director’s invention, adopted in subsequent films.
    68. “In the Vienna Woods.…” More Frost. The wrong step could make all the difference.
    Rockery, English for rock garden.
    70. Amis. Slang, Americans.
    The Karl Marx Hof. Vincent Scully described the entrance pavilion as “the apotropeic arms of the earth mother.” Lecture, Union College, 1978.
    Gross, Ger. “big” or “great”, as in Grossdeutsches Reich, which included occupied Poland, Bohemia and Moravia, etc.

    Second Leg
    71. William Golding, Lord of the Flies, 1954. The Canaanite deity Lord of Flies is Beelzebub, Baal-Zevuv. Flying insects, except for grasshopperoids, are unclean, taboo, i.e., not kosher. Leviticus 11: 20-23. Consider that Gk. psyche, “soul,” also means butterfly, a possible origin for the prohibition.
    The River Nahe divides Bingen from Bingerbrück, now annexed to the city of Bingen.
    72. Albert Speer. Sadly, one of the most successful of 20th century architects.
    “But to our tale….” Robert Burns, “Tam O’Shanter—a Tale,” 1790. Don’t read this, read that.
    Three late Archaic-early Classical (Severe Style) pediments from the temple of Aphaia at Aegina. A temple only has two pediments. One set of sculptures, damaged in the Persian Wars, was buried and replaced with a stylistically newer group. Before Thorvaldsen’s restorations were undone (1962–66), they were an important source for Neo-classical and subsequent figurative art revivals.
    73. The vapors, Victorian ladies’ fainting spells.
    Immanuel Velikovsky, Worlds in Collision, 1950. Reading the Iliad, Book V, the Bible, the Popul Vuh, and other mythic texts, he concluded that planet Venus erupted from Jupiter in the Bronze Age, and in concert with Mars, spun around Earth causing great havoc, the Ten Plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, and other cataclysmic global calamities. The Atlas Shrugged of planetary physics.
    Tunguska, Siberian site of catastrophic meteor explosion, June 30, 1908.
    The columns of the temple of Zeus at Olympia stand on a stylobate paved with hexagonal blocks of tan onyx somewhat resembling the atmosphere of Jupiter.
    Fritz Kiersch, directed Children of the Corn, 1984. Cornell astronomer Thomas Gold (1920–2004) (born in Vienna) predicted the moon’s coating of dust in 1955. Fritz’s father was a colleague, a professor in the geology department.
    Urania, the muse of astronomy.
    She was in REM sleep, a state only discovered in 1950.
    74. Jugendverbot: Forbidden to youth.
    77. The Triumph of the Will, Nazi propaganda film by Leni Riefenstahl, 1935.
    Wirtschaftswunder, the “economic miracle” of German postwar recovery
    Victor Hugo, Notre-Dame de Paris, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” 1831.
    Carcassonne, medieval city of southern France, considerably restored under the direction of Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. I’d tell you more, but my volume 5 of Mobilier Française vanished from my desk in architecture school. Cf. The Ill and the Odd, “Carcassonne.”
    79. Caroline Norton, “Bingen on the Rhine,” 1867, a romantic poem, anthologized in the 19th century, rarely thought of today.
    Deeply struck: the bricks project forward from the recessed mortar.
    Earth colors: The brilliant chemical clays that you can’t paint without: ochre, umber, siena.
    The Lombards, or Long Beards—the German tribe that settled in northern Italy. They revolutionized building technology with bricks that one mason could hold in one hand, unlike the wide, flat bricks of the Romans. Edouard Sekler, lecture, 1987.
    Tuff. A dark volcanic rock formed of compacted ash. Earlier Greek temples of mud brick, tuff, or limestone were plastered white. Marble architecture was a technological as well as aesthetic advance.
    80. The Germania, or Niederwald Monument, 1877–1883, Johannes Schilling 1828–1910, sculptor, commemorates the Franco-Prussian War from the victorious German viewpoint. It is enormous, with a view deep across the landscape to the south. At the very top is Germania, a bronze allegorical goddess with long braids, classical robes embroidered with eagles, and a bustier-type cuirass, striding forward from a lion-legged, eagle-armed throne, her left hand setting her long sword to rest, her right holding aloft the Imperial crown. Bismarck did not like it.
    “The Watch on the Rhine,” i.e., the defense of the west bank from France. A nationalist poem first written in the 1840s to counter the Marseillaise, that Dickens called “the revolution song.” Additional stanzas were added for subsequent wars. German officers sing it in Rick’s Café in Casablanca, 1942.
    81. This old man who plays butchered bones all over your body and fate, is a bony old soul himself, rolling home. The knacker, who renders livestock carcasses for hides and glue, is cognate with Ger. Knoche, bone. Sadly, “Paddywhack” is an ethnic slur. Knockers, or Tommyknockers, bedevil miners. See 99, “Into the Zone.”
    82. The Hansa, or Hanseatic League. See 4, “Embarcation.”
    Mycenae, de facto capital of Bronze Age Greece.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ethan Brand, 1851. Fragment or novella.
    Ingmar Bergman, The Seventh Seal, 1957, another candidate for best or top ten movie. Inspired by a suddenly dramatic cloudscape, Bergman summoned his cast to shoot the penultimate scene, a dance of Death against the sky.
    Death: cf. note 81.
    Some suggest that the spiked chair is not medieval.
    83. Holsteins. In the later 1960s, in Chatham, NY.
    I don’t recall this ferry for a moment. My mother remembered it.
    84. To learn about my cousin’s grandparents’ escape, read Kaj Schueler, Flykten från Berlin. 1942, Stockholm, Norstedts 2008. ISBN 978-91-1-301832-4. In English, Heckendorf’s List, translated by Peter Stenberg and Lena Karlström, in Contemporary Jewish Writing in Sweden, an Anthology, edited by Peter Stenberg. 2004, University of Nebraska Press, ISBN 0-8032-4286-7.
    Tivoli, amusement park in Copenhagen. The Prater, former Imperial hunting park, now an amusement park in Vienna, site of the Giant Wheel, as seen in The Third Man. Coney Island, amusement park on the Atlantic shore of Brooklyn, NY. Palisades Park, former amusement park across the Hudson River from Manhattan, Cliffside Park and Fort Lee, New Jersey, 1898–1971.
    Post-Modern: Polychrome Greek temples in cast acrylic plastic, tissue paper hot air balloons, and painted cardboard, 1976–1986.
    Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770–1844), neo-classical sculptor. See 72.

    Third Leg
    85. Cf. Beowulf. Goths = Gotts = Geats = Jutes [“Yoots”], and hailed from Gotland and Jutland. Some northern German dialects—Berlin’s, e.g.—substitute the y sound for hard g, as certain English, i.e. Anglo-Saxonish, cognates are distinguished from German.
    Christian Thomsen in 1819. The Cabinet (pronounced “cabinay”) was the forerunner of natural history and science museums. The term derives from a freestanding chest of drawers designed for the collection and display of natural and artificial curiosities.
    86. “Thus do I refute.…” Samuel Johnson, to refute Bishop Berkeley’s notion that all perceived existence is a thought in the mind of God, kicked a large, immoveable stone.
    Kommando Pimperle, a German children’s game.
    87. My mother meant idiomatic, a term she does not use.
    Two ways of telling a story, ab ovo, L. “from the egg,” opposed to in media res, “in the middle of the thing.”
    88. Three electors: Murdoch, Bloomberg, and Berlusconi.
    David Paloma, personal communication, 1995. His grandfather, a republican partisan, told him about Orwell.
    Winston Smith, protagonist of 1984.
    Hector, in Book xii of The Iliad.
    89. “Hangs up on,” i.e., terminates a telephone conversation without saying goodbye.
    90. Slaps and stiles, more from Tam O’Shanter.
    92. “Added an n”, i.e., “Agnostiken.”
    Henry Hunter (1923–1992), geometer.
    In the Gigantomachy, the mythical Battle of the Gods and Giants.
    Secret runes are a system of runic ciphers in which each rune is refigured as a stem with lines branching at right angles. Cryptographers arrange the runic alphabet on a grid. The number of lines on one side of the stem indicates the letter’s location in a column of the grid, and the number of lines on the other side indicate its location on a row. Bark-boring beetle larvae hatch from eggs laid in a channel under the bark, and mature by eating tunnels in the surface of the cambium to either side of the channel. I suppose a capable boromancer could interpret their traces.
    The Bog People, a term applied to well-preserved human remains, naturally tanned from submergence in the peat bogs of northern Europe and Britain. Cf. P.V. Glob, The Bog People, 1960. Many were Iron Age ritual sacrifices. Alan Garner published The Weirdstone of Brisingamen in 1960, in which the evil wizard Grimnir lives in a cave by Lindow (“black lake”) Moss. In 1983, Lindow Woman was discovered in the peat cuttings, and a year later, the ritually murdered Lindow Man, the best-preserved Iron Age bog person in Great Britain.
    93. The Vasa (originally Wasa, officially anglicized) sank in Stockholm harbor at the start of her maiden voyage due to her top-heavy design.
    “The very model….” W. S. Gilbert, “The Major-General’s Song,” The Pirates of Penzance, 1879.
    Ray Harryhausen’s film of 1963 adds the talking Juno carving to the Argonaut myth.
    Cf. William Ryan and Walter Pitman, Noah’s Flood, 1998. My co-workers in the field at Public Archaeology Laboratories in Pawtucket Rhode Island in the 1989-90 seasons, and in the Peabody Museum of Anthropology and Ethnology in 1991-93, may remember that I yakked on about the Neolithic Revolution being an artifact of post-glacial sea-level rising. In this world, it’s either publish or poetr.
    Captain John “Mad Jack” Percival (1779–1862) commanded USS Constitution during its circumnavigation, and had the ship’s carpenter build him a coffin. He and Melville met on Cape Cod.
    95. “‘Handsome! That ar word don’t kiver the case.’” George Washington Harris, “Sicily Burns’ Wedding,” in Sut Lovingood: Yarns Spun by a “Nat’ral Born Durn’d Fool,” 1867.
    For Amis. See 70, “Relations”. For Amis and Russians, cf. Belshazzar’s Feast, Daniel 5:1-4

    Fourth Leg
    96. Charon, the Ferryman who transports dead souls across the River Styx.
    98. The Memorial Church, the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche. The Kurfürstendamm is the glittery, modern, main shopping street, the principal boulevard of West Berlin.
    The Brandenburg Gate, where you passed between the American and Soviet Zones.
    99. The Zone: the remnant political structure of occupied Germany. I steal this title from Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow.
    “YOU ARE LEAVING….” Text of signs in four languages at the occupying powers’ boundaries.
    Cf. Kurt Vonnegut, The Slaughterhouse Five, 1969.
    Strengstens verboten!
    101. For the nature and character of Sleep, see Ovid, Metamorphoses, Book XI.
    The Firesign Theater, Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him. 1968, Columbia Records.
    Charlie is the man who never returned from a subway ride. A 1948 campaign song in Cambridge, Mass., covered by the Kingston Trio, 1959; now a logo of the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority.
    102. Henri Murger, Scènes de la vie bohème, 1851 novel that inspired Puccini to write La Bohème.
    Governor Sonny Perdue (1946 –).
    Between winter and warming—Al Gore wrote that first.
    See “The Gardener’s Prayer” by Karel Capek.
    103. We arrived in Vienna on August 9th, late afternoon. The Wall went up at midnight on the morning of the 13th. Though I remember it was the next morning, three more days must have passed.

    Section titles derive from my name.
    104. Lord Byron, Don Juan, first cantos published 1819, unfinished at his death in 1824.
    105. Public education: “War is an extension of politics by other means.” – Carl Philip Gottlieb von Clausewitz.

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