Additional Discussion: pp 336-357
I'm not an expert Pynchon-ite; I've read most of his work, but never with the attention I'm paying to AtD. In part, perhaps, because I didn't have Internet resources when reading previous ones (I didn't get very far in M&D, and I read all the others in the paleo-data days). So I won't be able to make any comparisons with the other books.
I do have some strong opinions about interpretation, however, many of which come from my long experience as a reader of many kinds of literature, and from reading "critical" analyses of works I enjoy. I'm not a grad student, teacher, or anything like that, and I tend to get all itchy when I read people suggesting some of the more tenuous meta-interpretations. I also find that an overzealous search for symbolic meaning in tiny details can be not only counter-productive, but, most likely, wrong. (While that approach works with Finnegans Wake, with its fractal structure - Joyce intended each word to be a reflection of each sentence which was a reflection of each paragraph which was a reflection of the entire work - I don't think Pynchon's writings benefit from such speculation.)
There certainly are references, to ideas, places, people, and events, but some of the suggestions I've seen on the AtD Wiki are, at best, grasping at straws. (One, in particular, that I found ludicrous, is the suggestion that by using the work "neurasthenia", Pynchon is referring to Proust. While Proust might have been called neurasthenic, he was much more an asthmatic. He had some serious issues, but calling him neurasthenic is really a shortcut for those who know little about his life. And, neurasthenia was a 19th century catch-all word for what would be today called depression. In fact, if it were to refer to anyone, I'd think more Henry James, since there are several very clear James references in AtD; not the author himself, but some of his characters, or his sister Alice, perhaps, whose lived, in some ways, like the sister of Paul Muniment in The Princess Casamassima. But I'm straying...) While it's interesting to see what resonates with different readers, some people seem too obsessed with tiny details at the expense of broader themes. That said, I have to admit that I immediately reacted when I saw the name of Dr. Oyswharf; I've been a Deadhead for a long time. :-)