109 Matching Annotations
  1. Oct 2019
    1. While having a sandwich, Gould customarily empties a bottle or two of ketchup on his plate and eats it with a spoon.

      Americans in general like ketchup, though obviously not always to this extent of dumping out an entire bottle. Got a steak that doesn't taste too good? put some ketchup on it. Got some fries that aren't salty? put some ketchup on it. Your only main source of food is a chair cushion? Put some ketchup on it. It'll taste good! However, in this case, most Americans don't put so much ketchup out. It's disgusting, and even Gould admits it. In the end, he really just wants the free shit, and the restaurants aren't exactly happy in regards to that.

    2. This figure shows how he looked like. Image of Professor Sea Gull

      Source from http://blog.nyhistory.org/quoth-the-raven-poetry-circle/

    3. blackballed

      Blackballing is a rejection in a traditional form of secret ballot, where a white ball or ballot constitutes a vote in support and a black ball signifies opposition.

    4. stone cellar

      An underground room for storing things made of stone which can protect things stored inside from bombs, like his books.

    5. He has given names to some of them. “Come here, Boss Tweed,” he says.

      From this little exchange, I can tell from history, that this pigeon named "boss tweed" is most likely an incredibly greedy pigeon. It's a reference to the corrupt politician during the Gilded age, and he's VERY infamous in New York. So I wonder, which pigeon is Thomas Nast? https://www.britannica.com/biography/Boss-Tweed

    6. Chippewa reservation

      Chippewa reservation is one of the biggest natives live in Northern America. They are often called as Ojibway Indians, also being one of the largest groups of American Indians in North America. There are nearly 150 different bands of Chippewa in the northern part of the United States and in southern Canada.

    7. turn the stomach of a goat

      Turn the stomach of a goat is a interesting expression. Based on what a friend's explanation, this is a metaphor meaning "throwing up". Gould is trying to say listening to the radio makes him feel very uncomfortable.

      Note: He is a native English speaker.

    8. gets on your nerves

      To "get on someone's nerves" is an informal way to say "irritate or annoy someone".

      Gould's stubbornness on reading his own poems annoys people from the peotry group.

    9. HOT-SHOT

      Hotshot is a slang word that describes a person who is impressively successful. Understand this by imagining that you are shooting with the gun.

    10. nudist

      Nudism is the belief in or the practice of being nude in a nonsexual social setting and as a conscious choice of lifestyle. Germany is the country which many nudist (naturist) practice nudism. It has been considered as a persuit of freedom.

      The first nudist congress in New York was organized by a German immigrant according to a article on the New York Times. Source from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/31/world/europe/germany-nudism.html.

    11. Van Cortlandt Park

      A park in the Bronx.

    12. Bronx

      Alexandria ocasio Cortez's county. also third most populous county in the U.S.

    13. To better understand this article, read through this article after you have some impression on Joe Gould!

    14. statue of Garibald

      dedicated to Giuseppe Garibaldi, it's a statue of an Italian general.

    15. cinnamon-colored beard

      it's a type of spice, brown colored. also, it's pretty tasty.

    16. Bowery

      In general, it refers to the beggar's society, where the poor people are.

    17. loony bin

      This is an offensive word for a hospital for mentally ill people.

    18. Father Divine

      African American Spiritual leader, founded the international peace mission movement.

    19. forlorn rakishness

      Forlorn means pitifully sad. Rakishness means disreputable appearance.

    20. cummerbund

      basically the sash worn around the waist.

      Source from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cummerbund.

    21. seersucker suit

      seersucker suit: basically a suit that's defined by the button in the middle that's called a "seersucker," which sucks all of the clothing in to that tight spot.

    22. beret

      see the French hat:

    23. overcoat

      An overcoat is basically a coat that's longer than your usual coat. that's all. Usually seen as classy in movies.

    24. He is five feet four and he hardly ever weighs more than a hundred pounds.

      From the common experience, this is the substandard for most American males. The average adult American male is 5 feet 9 inches tall and 195.7 pounds.


    25. Negro evangelist

      It is not just the racist language but also it highlights what era this was written in.

      A "Negro" is most often a derogatory term for an African American.

      An evangelist is basically a Christian preacher.

    26. Greenwich Village

      It's a neighborhood in Manhattan, and is notoriously expensive to live. The prices would be comparable to Shanghai's sky-high prices. Heck, it's so notable it's simply known as "the village" by locals.

      Source from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenwich_Village.

    27. pertinacity

      Pertinaciry literally means sticking with one thing without giving up. It requires courage, conviction and determination. It has a positive connotation.

    28. Cummings

      E.E. Cummings (1894-1962) was a great American writer. He was one of the most innovative poets of his time.

      A typical Cummings poem is spare and precise, employing a few key words eccentrically placed on the page.

      He wrote modern poems that exclude punctuation and syntax for a dynamic use of language, He also experimented with poems as visual objects with specific shapes such as hearts and swans.

      Source from https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/e-e-cummings.

    29. the Raven Poetry Circle

      The Raven Poetry Circle was formed near Washington Sqaure Park in 1933. As introduced in the following of the article, the founder was Mr. McCrudden, a retired New York Telephone Company employee.

      Members of this group included bohemians, published poets, students, city employees etc and they were known as "Ravens". The annual exhibitions would be held and the attendees could buy the poetry that hang on display in the open area.

      The founder, according to the members, was

      a quiet, hardworking scholarly man who valued a writer’s sincere expression of sentiments. Mcrudden could not tolerate “mere rhymers, wise- cracking doggereleers and other nuts” and such individuals were not welcome into the Ravens".

      Source from


    30. rum-dumb

      rum-dumb usually means the one who is addicted to alcohol and being out of control of one's life.

    31. wraith

      a soul or a ghost.

    32. Thomas Wolfe

      An American novelist in the early 20th century, who is known for mixing highly original, poetic, rhapsodic, and impressionistic prose with autobiographical writing. His work, as Gould's work, reflects on American culture and mores of that period.

    33. Samuel Pepys

      A member of Parliament and a naval administrator. He is most famous for the diary he kept for a decade which is one of the most important primary sources for the English Restoration period.

    34. gibberish

      Nonsense. meaningless words.

    35. buggy

    36. mule


    37. geraniums

      a kind of plant.

    38. Central Islip

      a hamlet and census-designed place in New York.

    39. Trinidad

      an island on the Southeast end of South America.

    40. icepick

      a sharp tool for breaking ice.

    41. Swedenborgianism

      The new church.

    42. jabber

      quick, misty and vague talk about small meaningless things.

    43. Columbus Circle

      A traffic circle located at the southwest corner of Central Park.

    44. Metropolitan Museum

      One of the world's largest and best museums

    45. verbatim

      literally, word-for-word.

    46. grease

      thick, oily substance used by cooking and heating, which can stain the pages under careless treatment.

    47. gin

      defined as "a clear alcoholic spirit distilled from grain or malt and flavored with juniper berries," jin has somewhat high percentage of alcohol, around 40~47 celsius degree in it.

    48. cackles

      "cackle" is often used to express the sound of a bird crying, for example, "he was cackling." In this sense, his cackling shows how he much he is excited.

    49. Newsstand

      It can usually be found in urban city

    50. Sheepshead Bay

      Southern part of Brooklyn

    51. Salvation Army song

    52. Great Jones Street

      Great Jones Street is one of the streets in New York City's NoHo district in Manhattan. This street gives a sense of a way that leads to Bowery.

    53. Fulton Fish Market

      Fulton Fish Market was the largest consortium of seafood wholesalers in New York City borough of the Bronx.

    54. Fresno

      Named for "abundant ash trees," the name of the city is originated from Spanish, fresno. This city has the fifth most populated area in California. It is known for its agricultural industry. However, the poverty issues in West Fresno is known for a significant gang problem

    55. spree

      Being on a spree means having a time of amusing activities much more than is usual, for example, a person can go on a shopping spree, spending spree.

    56. Hampshire House

      Built in 1940, Hampshire House is an apartment building that is known steeply-pitched roof with two tall chimneys. It is located near Fifth Avenue and in the Time Warner Center–and across the street from Central Park, allowing the perfect park view.

    57. Horace Gregory

      Horace Gregory was one of the notable poets in US, receiving American poet. His contribution as a translator of classic poetry, literary critic and college professor also allow how celebrated writer he was.

    58. babble

      Babble can be traced from Old English "wæflian" which means "to talk foolishly". Now the main meaning is "to speak quickly, in a confused, excited, or foolish way".

    59. New England

      New England is a region compose of six states in the U.S.

      The region played a critical role of abolishing slavery in the country. It is also the first region shifting by the Industrial Revolution.

      Source from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_England.

    60. Bellevue

      Bellevue is a city in the Eastside region of King County, Washington, United States, across Lake Washington from Seattle. It is well known for its rapid growing within preserving its suburban aspect.

    61. spinster

      typically older women who is not married yet.

    62. Rochambeau

      Well known for its quality of French food, it usually has bars, dining rooms, outdoor patio, cafe, and private dinning room for meeting.

    63. Goody’s

      Goody's is one of the most common family restaurants in US which serves fast food.

    64. Belmar

      The cheapest packages of food start as low as $5.95, the Belmar is one of the common pub and grill restaurant that doesn't serve high price food.

    65. Village Square Bar & Grill

      This is a restaurant includes piano bar and a lounge, serves from lunch to midnight bar.

    66. Jericho Tavern

      The Jericho Tavern is a pub and restaurant in the Jericho area of Oxford, England, at 56 Walton Street. It is known for serving good quality of hamburger, fries, and beef salad within non-high price.

    67. prowls around

      like wandering around

    68. take a load off his mind

      A load off mind means a relief felt after sharing one's thoughts annd feelings. A big relief from a mental burden.

      Source from https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/a+load+off+mind.

    69. bartender

      Bartender is a lisensed person who formulates and serves alcohol or soft drink beverages behind the bar. A bartender can usually mix classic cocktails whose annual pay is about 19,500 USD. Source from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bartender.

    70. Harlem

      A neighborhood in the northern section of the New York City. Synonymous with black culture and famous for African-American music, literature, dance and art. It is close to Columbia University.

    71. floozy

      Floozy is an informal word, meaning a woman who has many casual sexual encounters or wears obviously sexual clothes.

      Source from https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/floozy.

    72. lower East Side

      An immigrant working class region. It is best known as a place for an exciting night out, lined with bars, clubs, restaurants and so on.

    73. Gluyas Williams

      Gluyas Williams (1888-1982) was a great American cartoonist in 20th century. He make great contributions to The New Yorker.

      Daily Strip Illustration For more interest in his cartoons, please explore the website http://www.gluyaswilliams.com/index.htm.

    74. General Robert E. Lee.

      The greatest general during the civil war. He commanded the army of North Virginia and was an exceptional officer and military engineer in the United States Army for 32 years.

    75. Howard Lindsay

      Howard Lindsay (1889-1968) was an American theatrical producer and actor. He played the role of "Father" in Life with Father.

      Source from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Lindsay.

    76. he spends at least a couple of hours working on a formless, rather mysterious book that he calls “An Oral History of Our Time.” He began this book twenty-six years ago, and it is nowhere near finished.

      The actual contents and the book itself is up to interpretation. is it simply truly an oral history, and not an actual book? Or is it a book that he simply memorizes in his head due to being poor? Or is it a book that only has dialogue in it?

    77. Bellevue Hospital

      The oldest public hospital in the United States. It is located on the First Avenue around Kips Bay in Manhattan.

    78. Salvation Army

      An international charitable religious organization. "Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination." A Salvation Army street meeting looks like this

    79. hangover

      Hangover is the sickness people experience such headache, nausea, and light sensitivity after comsuming too much alcohol.

      Source from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hangovers/symptoms-causes/syc-20373012.

    80. Although Gould strives to give the impression that he is a philosophical loafer, he has done an immense amount of work during his career as a bohemian.

      This supports his previous view of his own superiority, in which he said that "I do more living in one year than ordinary humans do in ten." if he's done more living, he's likely got something to show for it.

    81. basking in the sun

      Basking in the sun simply means to lie in or be exposed to a pleasant warmth. In Chinese, it would be translated into a cute phrase as "晒太阳".

      Since Gould has been working in the police office for a year, this scene reveals his boredom of this job.

    82. Associated American Artists

      Associated American Artists, also called as AAA, was an art gallery in New York City for 67 years from 1934 to 2000. The middle and the upper-middle classes of art pieces were the main in this gallery.

    83. Union Square

      It is a square located in Manhattan, "where activists speak their minds and break-dancers and skateboarders spin and shred."

    84. aristocrats

      The word Aristocracy derives from the Greek aristokratia, meaning "the rule of the best". It is a class that is considered as the highest in the society. The Brahman caste in India is an example of aristocracy.

    85. bric-a-brac

      It means a number of tiny ornamental objects without great value. Objects that help decorate specific place like bookshelf or desk, or ones that little kids want to have for its cute appearance not their fuctions.

    86. On bitter winter days he puts a layer of newspapers between his shirt and undershirt. “I’m snobbish,” he says. “I only use the Times.” He is fond of unusual headgear

      I think this displays his eccentric behavior to be even strange among homeless people. He's surprisingly picky despite lacking the money to normally exert such behavior.

    87. hodgepodge

      A disorderly collection of different things, usually messy.

    88. William Jennings Bryan

      He was the United States Secretary of State and called "The Great Commoner." From 1896, he was a dominant force in the Democratic Party, competing for President of the United States for 3 times, though failed.

    89. fuddy-duddy

      It refers to a person who is conservative, old-fashioned and traditionalist. It can be understood as boring, an old and no humor sense of expression.

    90. noggins

      Noggins is a U.S. slang. It refers to a kind of a container that can refresh people's heads. The modern meaning is somebody's head. Source from http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-nog1.htm.

    91. Pontius Pilate

      He was the one who presided over the trial of Jesus and ordered his crucifixion, the fifth governor of the Roman province of Judaea.

    92. Dial

      The Dial was an American magazine published intermittently from 1840 to 1929. Focus of the magazine had shifted within three steps: chief base for Transcendentalists writing, a political review and literary criticism magazine, and an influential outlet for modernist literature in English.

    93. Bohemianism

      Bohemian is basically a sort of unconventional lifestyle. think Henry David Thoreau as an example, who stayed in the wilderness and wrote stuff for quite a while.


    94. Yankee

      It can be used as a term for an "American." However, in this context, it is more than likely that it's referring to someone who's from New England. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/yankee

    95. Huntington

      The Huntington National Bank is one of the biggest banking companies in the United States, having offices primarily in Midwest.

    96. Smithsonian Institution

      The Smithsonian Institution is the largest museum, education, and research complex in the world, named after its founding donor - "James Smithson." The Institution is administered by the government of the United States, including 19 world-class museums, galleries, gardens and a zoo located in Washington DC, New York and Virginia.

    97. longhand


    98. Chippewas
    99. North Dakota

      It is a U.S. state where its capitalBismarck and its largest city is Fargo.

      Source from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Dakota.

    100. prosaic

      Prosaic here means ordinary and not especially interesting or unusual according to Cambridge Dictionary.

      So those people in highly inbred communities are uninteresting to Gould as he himself was not a "normal" person most his acquaintance thought.

    101. Carnegie Institution

      Carneqie Institution of Washington was founded in 1902. In 1903, it approved the plan of studying evolution at a biological experiment station. The Station for Experimental Evolution opened later in Cold Spring Harbor, New York. Under the initial directorship of Charles Benedict Davenport (1866-1944), the unit would flourish and operate for 67 years, undergo name changes as it fine-tuned its research focus, combine with and then close down a eugenics research operation, and eventually merge with neighboring Long Island Biological Association’s Biological Laboratory.

      Source from http://library.cshl.edu/special-collections/carnegie-institution-of-washington.

    102. Cold Spring Harbor

      Cold Spring Harbor rose as a whaling community in the mid-nineteenth century. But after the decline of the whaling industry, it became a resort town in the1860s. Source from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_Spring_Harbor,_New_York.

    103. Albanian Orthodox Church,

      The Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Albania is one of the newest autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Churches. It declared its autocephaly in 1922 through its Congress of 1922. The church suffered during World War II and the church has seen a revival since religious freedom was restored in 1991. Source from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albanian_Orthodox_Church.

    104. ranch

      Ranch is a large farm, especially in the western U.S. and Canada, where cattle and other animals are bred and raised.

    105. Conrad Aiken

      Conrad Potter Aiken (August 5, 1889 – August 17, 1973) was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet, born in Savannah, Georgia, whose work includes poetry, short stories and novels. He was deeply influenced by Symbolism, especially in his earlier works. He is the father of English writer Joan Aiken. Source from http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/conrad_aiken/biography.

    106. rocking chair

      A rocking chair or rocker is a type of chair with two curved bands attached to the bottom of the chair's legs. The occupants are allowed to rock back and forth while sitting on it.

      Source from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocking_chair.

    107. Norwood

      Norwood was long used as a hunting ground by Native Americans and was settled by the English in 1678. It is located in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States as part of Great Boston area. See the location on the map below.

      Source from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwood,_Massachusetts.

    108. blood poisoning

      Blood Poisoning is a serious infection caused by the bacteria in the bloodstream. The infection has nothing to do with "poison". It actually refers to bacteremia, septicemia and sepsis. Source from https://www.healthline.com/health/blood-poisoning.

    109. Alaska

      Alaska is the northernmost and the westernmost state in the United States as the only noncontiguous state on continental North America. See the location on the map below. Source from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska.