(Page 64) – The Mozart Requiem concert is an almost spiritual experience for Jerome and Kiki, and before the concert Jerome comments that the orchestra seems to “hover above the water” based on the reflection of the lights nearby (64). This is a Biblical reference to a passage in early Genesis, in which the Spirit of God hovers above the waters before finishing the creation of the world.
(Page 74) – When noting how good-looking Carl is, Zora “could no longer ignore the fact that he was stupidly good looking…Pride and prejudice, however, connived in Zora to make a point of ignoring it anyway” (74). The terms “pride and prejudice” are a reference to Jane Austen’s wildly popular novel from 1813, in which two characters attracted to each other originally allow pride and prejudice to bar them from admitting this attraction.
(Page 109) – When thinking about his affair with Claire after his speech at the anniversary party, Howard “had to restrain himself from crying with relief before each new person who was kind to him. He had made a silly mistake – this was the consensus – and should be allowed (for who among middle-aged academics would dare throw the first stone?) to remain in possession of that unusual thing, a happy and passionate marriage” (109-110). This is a Biblical reference to a story in the Gospel of Mark, in which Jesus tells those preparing to stone an adulteress that, if anyone here had not committed sins themselves, then they could cast the first stone (thus insinuating that they all were sinful, just as the adulteress was).