Home | Comics | wishlist | Impressum | Datenschutzerklärung |

An Annotation of Literary, Historic, and Artistic References
in Alan Moore's Graphic Novel, _V_for_Vendetta_.
Madelyn Boudreaux, Madelyn@gothics.org
April 27, 1994

Part 3 of 3

Copyright 1994, Madelyn Boudreaux.
Distribute but do not modify.  Send corrections, changes, and 
suggestions to Madelyn@gothics.org

182, 3, 1	1812 Overture
	This piece of music, written in 1880 by Peter Ilich 		
	Tchaikovsky, was commissioned for the consecration of
	the Moscow Cathedral of Christ.  The cathedral was 	
	built in thansgiving for Napolean's defeat in 1812.  The 	
	work incorporated an old Russian hymn, and included 	
	both the French national anthem, the "Marseillaise," to 	
	represent Napoleon's invasion, and "God Save the 	
	Czar" to symbolize Russia's victory.  Moore probably 	
	chose this work both for its "revolutionary" sound, and 	
	for its unusual motif: the original orchestration included 	
	battlefield guns which the conductor set off with 		
	electrical switches 					
	(_Adventures_in_Light_Classical_Music_ 34), an action
	which V imitates with his bombs.

188, 2, 3	Bollocks
	This is ribald slang for testicles; it derives from 		
	"ballocks," and was standard english until 1840, when it
	became vulgar (Partridge, _Unconventional_, 29).

195, 3, 1	Ordnung
	This is German for a state of order and arrangemnt 	
	(Betteridge 452).
195, 3, 2	Verwirrung
	This is the German noun for a state of confusion, 	
	entangelment, and confusion (Betteridge 686).
196, 1, 1	Turning and turning in the widening gyre the 	
			falcon cannot hear the falconer.
			Things fall apart... the centre cannot hold.  -- 	
	These words are from William Butler Yeats' poem "The 	
	Second Coming," which tells of an Christ/anti-Christ 	
	figure being borne of humanity's chaotic history 		
	(Donoghue 95-96).  It illustrates V's vision of a chaotic 	
	world, but V believes that out of the choas will come 	
	order.  This is also foreshadowing, for V is the book's 	
	Christ figure and Evey is it's second coming.

201, -, -		Still all in love and war is fair, they say,
			this being both and turn-about's fair play.
			Though I must bear a cuckold's horns, they're 	
			not a crown that I shall bear alone.  You see,
			my rival, though inclined to roam, possessed
			at home a wife that he adored.  He'll rue
			his promiscuity, the rogue who stole
			my only love, when he's informed how
			many years it is since first I bedded his.
	V often speaks, as he does here, in iambic pentameter, 	
	which is a rhythmic scheme.  Each line consists of five 	
	metrical "feet," each of which contains two syllables, 	
	one short (unstressed) and one long (stressed), 		
	(_Encyclopedia_Americana_ 688).  By speaking in 	
	Jacobean stage's characteristic blank verse, V's pay 	
	homage.  Stolz points out further that a common 		
	Jacobean dramatic for was the revenge play, which V 	
	imitates in deadly fashion throughout the book (60).

208, -, -	Dominoes fall (image)
	The dominoes, which V has been setting up from the 	
	beginning of the book, fall.  In Harlan Ellison's short 	
	story "'Repent, Harlequin!' said the Ticktockman" the 	
	Harlequin's first act of terrorism is described as follows:
	"He had tapped the first domino in the line, and one 	
	after another, like chik chik chik, the others had fallen."
		"'Repent, Harlequin!' said the Ticktockman" posits a 	
	ridiculous distopia where time is both the means and 	
	the end for facism; in it, tardiness is eradicated by the 	
	constant exacting of biblical vengeance:  if an individual 	
	is ten minutes late, ten minutes are taken off the end of 	
	his or her life.  In this world, the Harlequin, *masked in a
	clown costume*, manages to disturb time by dumping 	
	$150,000 dollars worth of jellybeans on a crowd of 	
	commuters waiting on a moving sidewalk.  The 		
	jellybeans, which are a mystery since they haven't been
	manufactured in over a hundred years (like V's fireworks
	and the chiming of Big Ben on page 257 of 		
	_V_for_Vendetta_), literally gum up the works of the 	
	sidewalk and throw the entire system of the world off by
	seven minutes.  This act makes the Harlequin a terrorist
	against the state, and the Master Timekeeper (the 	
	Ticktockman of the title) must discover the identity of 	
	such a trouble-maker before the system is utterly 	
		Many of the V's tricks are reminiscent of the Harlequin:
	both use fireworks to communicate with the masses, 	
	and both appear atop buildings to taunt the masses with
	singing.  The Ticktockman is aware, as Finch is of V, 	
	that the Harlequin's identity is less important than the 	
	understanding of *what* he is. Both the Harlequin and V
	represent ideas fundamentally opposed to those upon 	
	which their worlds rely, and both, though destroyed, 	
	plant seeds that have the power to demolish the worlds 	
	that broke them.  Both are celebrities of a sort, and both
	are enemies of the state because they want to be 	
	reformers of it (reference to Henry David Thoreau, "Civil 	

210, 2, 1	Lysergic Acid Diethylamide
	Also known as LSD or LSD-25, this drug is considered 	
	to be a psychotomimetic, in that it induces an imitation 	
	of a state of psychosis.  It was first isolated in Basle, 	
	Switzerland in 1938 by Albert Hoffman, who created it 	
	by synthesized it from ergot, a rhy grain fungus (Stevens

211, 1, 1	Four tablets
	Hoffman was also the first person to experiment with 	
	LSD-25.  In his first experimenytation, he used 250 	
	millionths of a gram, or 250 milligrams (Stevens 4).  He 	
	experienced a violent "trip" and subsequent doses were 	
	lowered to about two-thirds of that anount (Stevens 10).
	Thus, Finch's four tablets, each packing 200 milligrams,
	was between four and eight times too much!

214, 3, 1	...in nomini patri, et filii, et spiritus sancti...
	Latin, from the Christian mass: "In the name of the 	
	Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."
216, 2, -	...La voie, la verite, la vie.
	These are French for the road (or way), the truth, and 	
	the life.

216, 3, 3	Stonehenge
	One of the largest and most complete of the standing-	
	stone monuments in Britain.  It's origin's and purpose 	
	are unknown, but it is believed to have been a kind of 	
	astrological observation site and/or a place for religious 	
	ceremonies (  )

217, 1, 3-	"Everytime we say goodbye...I die a little. 	
			Everytime we say goodbye, I wonder 	
			why a little.  Do the gods above me, who must 	
			be in the know think so little of me they'd 	
			allow you to go?"
	The quote is from a Cole Porter song entitled "Ev'ry time
	we say goodbye,"   from Porter's revue 			
	_Seven_Lively_Arts_, from 1944.  Porter (1891-1964) 	
	was an American songwriter who wrote symphonic jazz
	works and musicals.  He is best remembered for his 	
	adaption of Shakespeare's 				
	_The_Taming_of_the_Shrew_, as the musical 		
	_Kiss_me,_Kate_ (Lax and Smith 611; Havelince 200).

217, 2, 2	"Do as thou wilt... that shall be the whole of the
	This is Aleister Crowley's "Law of Thelema," from his 	
	1904 publication _The_Book_of_the_Law_.  Crowley 	
	was a controversial and misunderstood magician and 	
	occultist of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  He 	
	claimed that this book was dictated to him by his 	
	guardian spirit, a "devil-god" incarnation of the Egyptian 	
	god Set, whom Crowley called Aiwas.  Although some 	
	interpret the law as allowing pure anarchy, it may 	
	actually mean that "one must do what one must and 	
	nothing else," (Guiley, 76).

218, 1, 1	_Alice_in_Wonderland_
	Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carrol, was
	a children's story in which a young girl named Alice 	
	enters a world she can never quite understand.  This 	
	was both a children's adventure story and a satyrical 	
	work (_Encyclopedia_Americana_ 577).
221, 1, 1	Ray Bradbury story about corn
	I was unable to determine the title of this story.

223, 2, 1	I'm waiting for the man.
	This is a quote from the Velvet Underground song 	
	"Waiting for my man" from the album "VU and Nico" which 
	is about a addict waiting for his "connection" who is 
	bringing him more of his drug.
223, 3, 3	_Farewell,_My_Lovely_ poster
	This was a 1945 film made for RKO.  It was one of the 	
	first *film noir* movies, a style characterized by the 	
	violence and depravity of its seedy characters, its 	
	confusing plots, and its dark and high-contrast 		
	photography.  This film was adapted from a Raymond 	
	Chandler novel, and dealt with a private eye's search for
	an ex-convict's missing girl-friend (Halliwell 314).

228, 2, 2	Eva Peron... Evita Don't Cry for Me, Argentina
	Eva Peron was the wife of Argentina's president, Juan 	
	Peron.  From 1946 to 1952, Eva Peron, also known as 	
	Evita, controlled the labor unions, and purged them of 	
	their leaders, thus making them entirely dependent on 	
	the government.  She also supressed groups that 	
	insulted her.  She was well-loved by much of Argentina,
	however (Alexander ?) Eva Peron inspired a musical, 	
	_Evita_, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, and shown 	
	first in London in 1978.

230, 1, 1	The song is : "The Happy Wanderer" (german: "Mein
Vater war ein Wandersmann") Melody by Friedrich W. Möller. Note
the "V"'s:  

I love to go a-wandering
Along the mountain track
And as I go, I love to sing,
My knapsack on my back. 

Valderi, Valdera,
Valderi, Valdera ha ha ha ha ha
Valderi, Valdera,
My knapsack on my back. 

I love to wander by the stream
That dances in the sun,
So joyously it calls to me,
Come join my happy song.
Valderi, Valdera . . . . 

I wave my hat to all I see,
And they wave back to me
And blackbirds all so loud and sweet
From every greenwood tree.
Valderi, Valdera . . . . 

O may I go a-wandering
Until the day I die,
O may I always laugh and sing
Beneath God's clear blue sky.
Valderi, Valdera . . . . 

230, 1, 1	...and did those feet in ancient times...
	The first lines from the afore-mentioned poem by 	
	William Blake.

233, 2, -	...so how can you tell me you're lonely...and 	
			say for you that the sun don't shine?  Let me 	
			take you by the hand and lead you through the 	
			streets of London, I'll show you something to 	
			make you change your mind... (song)
	This is "Streets of London" by Ralph Mc Gee

245, 3, 1	a viking funeral
	Vikings "buried" some of their dead by laying the corpse
	out in a ship and setting it ablaze, then pushing it out to 	

245, 3, 1	Ave atque vale
	Latin for "Hail and Farewell," (Simpson 63, 70, 629)

255, 2, 2	_Les_Miserables_ (poster)
	This poster was from _Les_Miserables_, a modern 	
	operatic piece by Claude-Michel Schonberg, based on a
	novel by Victor Hugo and first performed in London in 	
	1980.  It is about a former petty criminal who, upon 	
	being released from jail, becomes a revolutionary leader
	(Behr 391).

258, 2, 2	...reports of my death were exaggerated...
	This quote is from a telegram sent from London to the 	
	Associated Press by Mark Twain in 1897 (Bartletts 625).

264, 2, 2	Gissa shag, ay?
	The tramps are soliciting sex from Helen.  Shag is 19th-	
	20th century slang for intercourse with a woman.  The 	
	word possibly came from meaning "to shake or toss 	
	around," hence, a term for masturbation.  (Partridge, 	
	_Unconventional_, 748).

Works Cited

Alexander, Robert.  "Eva Peron." _Encyclopedia_Americana_.  	
	International ed.  Danbury, CT: Grolier, 1989.

Alfonso, Barry. Liner notes for _The_Beat_Generation_. 3 	
	compact disc vols. Santa Monica, California: Rhino 	
	Records/Word Beat, 1992.

"Alice's Adventures in Wonderland."  				
	_Encyclopedia_Americana_.  International ed.  		
	Danbury, CT: Grolier, 1989.

Altick, Richard D.  "Charles Lamb."  				
	_Encyclopedia_Americana_.  International ed.  		
	Danbury, CT: Grolier, 1989.

Bartlett, John. _Familiar_Quotations_.  15th ed.  Boston: Little, 	
	Brown, 1980.

Behr, E.  "Les Miserables." 					
	_The_Oxford_Companion_to_Popular_Music_.  New 	
	York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1991.

Bergin, Thomas G.  "Dante Alighieri." 				
	_Encyclopedia_Americana_.  International ed.  		
	Danbury, CT: Grolier, 1989.

Betteridge, Harold T. _Cassell's_German-English,_English-	
	German_Dictionary_.  New York: MacMillan, 1978.

Blake, William. _Milton_.  Eds. E. R. D. MacLagan and A. G. 	
	B. Russell.  London: A. H. Bullen, 1907.

Caberet_.  Dir. Bob Fosse.  ABC/Allied Artists, 1972.

Carpenter, Humphry and Mari Prichard. 				
	New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1984.

Chittenden, Fred J. _Dictionary_of_Gardening_. 2nd ed.  4 	
	vols.  Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1956.

Cook, David A. _A_History_of_Narrative_Film_.  2nd ed.  New 	
	York: W.W. Norton, 1990.

Coon, Margaret, ed. _American_Rose_Annual_1964_.  		
	Greenfield, Ohio: American Rose Society, 1964.

Cubberlege, Geoffrey. _Oxford_Dictionary_of_Quotations_. 2nd
	ed.  New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1953.

Delury, George E. 						
	New York: Newspaper Enterprise Association, 1978.

Delury, George E. 						
	New York: Newspaper Enterprise Association, 1979.

Donoghue, Denis. _William_Butler_Yeats_.  New York: Viking,

Ellison, Harlan.  "'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman." 	
	_Nebula_Award_Stories_1965_.  Ed. Damon Knight.  	
	Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1966.  65-79.

Ewbanks, Inga-Stina. "Frankenstein." 				
	_Encyclopedia_Americana_.  International ed.  		
	Danbury, CT: Grolier, 1989.

Ewbanks, Inga-Stina. "Hard Times." 				
	_Encyclopedia_Americana_.  International ed.  		
	Danbury, CT: Grolier, 1989.

"Evita" _The_Oxford_Companion_to_Popular_Music_. New 	
	York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1991.

"Fawkes, Guy."  _Encyclopaedia_Britannica_Micropaedia_.  	
	15th ed.  1991.

Foster, Charles H.  "Harriet Beecher Stowe."  			
	_Encyclopedia_Americana_  International ed.  Danbury,
	CT: Grolier, 1989.

Frazer, James G. _The_Golden_Bough_.  3rd ed. 13 vols.  	
	New York: MacMillan, 1935.

Gammond, Peter, ed. 						
	_The_Oxford_Companion_to_Popular_Music_.  New 	
	York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1991.

Gatt, Giuseppe. _Twentieth_Century_Masters:_Max_Ernst_.  	
	London: Hamlyn, 1970.

Girad, Denis. _Cassell's_French_Dictionary_.  New York: 	
	MacMillan, 1973.

Greene, Hugh.  "British Broadcasting Corporation."  		
	_Encyclopedia_Americana_.  International ed.
	Danbury, CT: Grolier, 1989.

Greer, Thomas H. _A_Brief_History_of_the_Western_World_.  	
	5th ed. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1987.

"Gunpowder Plot."  _Encyclopaedia_Britannica_Micropaedia_.
	15th ed.  1991.

Halliwell, Leslie. _Halliwell's_Film_Guide_. 5th ed. New York: 	
	Charles Scribner's Sons, 1987.

Havelice, Patricia Pate. _Popular_Song_Index_.  Metuchen, 	
	New Jersey: Scarecrow Press, 1975.

_Holy_Bible_. New International version. Grand Rapids: 		
	Zondervan, 1984.

"Iambic Pentameter."  _Encyclopedia_Americana_.  		
	International ed.  Danbury, CT: Grolier, 1989.

International Registration Authority for Roses, the American 	
	Rose Society, and the McFarland Company. 		
	_Modern_Roses_7_.  Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: 		
	McFarland (1969).

Jones, H. P., ed. 						
	Quotaions_. Edinburgh: John Grant, 1949.

Kadrey, Richard and Larry McCaffery.  "Cyberpunk 101: A 	
	Schematic Guide to _Storming_the_Reality_Studio_." 	
	_Storming_the_Reality_Studio_.  Ed. Larry McCaffery.  	
	Durham, NC: Duke Univ. Press, 1991.

"Koestler, Arthur."  _Encyclopedia_Americana_.  International 	
	ed.  Danbury, CT: Grolier, 1989.

"Labor Party." _Encyclopaedia_Britannica_Micropaedia_.  15th
	ed.  1991.

Lax, Roger and Frederick Smith. 				
	_The_Great_Song_Thesaurus_. 2nd ed. New York: 	
	Oxford Univ. Press, 1989.

Lines, Kathleen, ed. _Lavender's_Blue_.  New York: Franklin 	
	Watts, 1956.

Milgram, Stanley.  "Behavioral Study of Obedience."  Journal of
	Abnormal and Social Psychology 67 (1963): 371-378.

McCaffery, Larry. ed. _Storming_the_Reality_Studio_.  		
	Durham, NC: Duke Univ. Press, 1991.

Moore, Alan,  Introduction.   _V_for_Vendetta_.  New York: DC 	
	Comics, 1990.

---.  "Beyond the Painted Smile."  _V_for_Vendetta_.  New 	
	York: DC Comics, 1990.

Moore, Alan and David Lloyd.  _V_for_Vendetta_.  New York: 	
	DC Comics, 1990.

"Mustard Gas."  _Encyclopedia_Americana_.  International ed.
	Danbury, CT: Grolier, 1989.

"Napalm." _Encyclopedia_Americana_.  International ed.  	
	Danbury, CT: Grolier, 1989.

Nicholls, Peter, ed. _The_Science_Fiction_Encyclopedia_.  	
	Garden City, NY: Dolphin/Doubleday, 1979.

Partridge, Eric. 							
	New York: MacMillan, 1974.

---. _A_Dictionary_of_Slang_and_Unconventional_English_.  	
	7th ed.  New York: MacMillan, 1970.

Pareles, Jon and Patricia Romanowski, eds. 			
	of_Rock_and_Roll_.  New York: Rolling Stone/Summit, 	

Pretzell, Lothar and Loni Pretzell. 				
	Bruhl, 1951.

"Punch and Judy."  _Encyclopedia_Americana_.  International 	
	ed.  Danbury, CT: Grolier, 1989.

Reader's Digest. A Guide to the Composers and their Music. 	
	_Adventures_in_Light _Classical_Music_. 12 record 	
	vols. Reader's Digest/RCA, c. 1950.

Reilly, John M.
	_Twentieth-Century_Crime_and_Mystery_Writers_. 2nd
	ed.  NY: St. Martin's, 19??.

Rexroth, Kenneth.  "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire." 	
	_Encyclopedia_Americana_.  International ed.  		
	Danbury, CT: Grolier, 1989.

Rolling Stones.  "Sympathy for the Devil." 			
	_Beggar's_Banquet_.  Mirage/Abkco, 1968.

Sadie, Stanley and H. Wiley Hitchcock, eds. 			
	_The_New_Grove_Dictionary_of_American_Music_. 4 	
	vols. London: MacMillan, 1986.

Sargent, Lyman T.  "Utopia."  _Encyclopedia_Americana_.  	
	International ed.  Danbury, CT: Grolier, 1989.

Sauer, Wolfgang.  "Adolf Hitler."  _Encyclopedia_Americana_.
	International ed.  Danbury, CT: Grolier, 1989.

Scholz, Carter.  "In the New Dark Ages." 			
	_The_Comics_Journal_, September 1990: 59-64.

Sergal, Sherman Louis, ed. 					
	Chicago: Dramatic Publishing, 1973.

Shakespeare, William. _The_Complete_Works_.  Bath: Bath 	
	Press/Literary Guild, 1988.

Simmond, George.  "Joseph Stalin."  				
	_Encyclopedia_Americana_.  International ed.  		
	Danbury, CT: Grolier, 1989.

Simpson, D. P., ed. _Cassell's_New_Latin_Dictionary_.  New 	
	York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1960.

Simpson, J. A. and E. S. C. Weiner. 				
	_Oxford_English_Dictionary_.  2nd ed.  Oxford: 		
	Clarendon, 1989.

Sive, Charlotte, ed. _Farm_Chemicals_Handbook_.  74th ed.  	
	Willoghby, OH: Farm Chemicals Handbook, 1988.

Smith, Denis Mack.  "Benito Mussolini." 			
	_Encyclopedia_Americana_.  International ed.  		
	Danbury, CT: Grolier, 1989.

Smith, Dorothy B. Frizzell and Eva L. Andrews, compilers. 	
	Young_People,_1957-1975_.  Chicago: American 	
	Library Association, 1978.

Stevens, Jay. _Storming_Heaven:_LSD_and_the_
	_American_Dream_.  New York: Harper and Row, 	

Terrace, Vincent.  The_Complete_Encyclopedia_of_
	_Television_Programs_,1947-1979_.  2 vols.  New York:
	A. S. Barres, 1979.
Tucker, Robert, ed.  The_Marx-Engels_Reader_.  2nd ed.   	
	New York:  Norton, 1978.

The Velvet Underground.  "Heroin."  				
	_The_Velvet_Underground_and_Nico_.  MGM/Verve, 	

Wickens, G. M. "Arabian Nights."  _Encyclopedia_Americana_.
	International ed.  Danbury, CT: Grolier, 1989.

© by Ralf Hildebrandt
This document contains links to external information sources that I do neither monitor nor control. I explicitly disclaim any liabilities in respect to external references.
You are getting this document without any guarantees. Any methods shown above are meant as demonstration and may be wrong in some place. You may damage your system if you try to follow my hints and instructions. You do this at your own risk!

This file was last modified 17. Jan 2007 by root