shviger evil eye
Shviger is Yiddish for mother-in-law.
Midwest... it was the golden age of arcades then...
Possible reference to Walter Day and Ottumwa, Iowa's Twin Galaxies.
Frank Henry Loesser (1910 – 1969) wrote the lyrics and music to Guys and Dolls and How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, among others. Jussi Björling singing Nessun Dorma, Deanna Durbin singing Nessun Dorma. Squillo "is a technical term attached to the resonant, trumpet-like sound in the voice of opera singers." Wikipedia
- References to opera are littered throughout Pynchon's works. Wagner is mentioned numerous times in Gravity's Rainbow.
it's Aretha Franklin, the time she filled in for Pavarotti at the Grammys back in '98
Here's the performance right here.
prewar classic seven
Prewar apartment with seven full rooms.
Space Ghost Coast to Ghost
A cult classic cartoon that ran from 1994-2004, known for its "surrealism, non-sequiturs and random, unpredictable parody humor". Wikipedia
Explaining to Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.
The narrator jokingly refers to Windust as Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., who played an FBI agent in the TV series The FBI.
A reconvergence of what the day scattered
Sappho was a Greek lyric poet, born on the island of Lesbos. The Alexandrians included her in the list of nine lyric poets. Her birth was sometime between 630 and 612 BCE, and it is said that she died around 570 BCE, but little is known for certain about her life. The bulk of her poetry, which was well-known and greatly admired through much of antiquity, has been lost, but her immense reputation has endured through surviving fragments.
Pynchon is referencing this Sappho poem:
To EveningThou bring'st the child, too, to his mother's side.
O HESPERUS! Thou bringest all things home;
All that the garish day hath scattered wide;
The sheep, the goat, back to the welcome fold;
Pynchon quotes this very poem in Mason & Dixon, at 96.
still believes the Rosenbergs were innocent
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of espionage and executed in 1953.
An entirely invented word. Perhaps some pun?
Dominican street food.