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Always the April Fool
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I'm wondering about the chapter headings for Stardust, the ones that begin "In which..." They have a classic feel to them, and I'm sure that Neil must have borrowed the device from some other writer. What other book (or books) make use of this?
 
Posts: 10542 | Location: Detroit Rock City | Registered: June 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Shoggoth's Most Peculiar
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I'm sure they were common in late 19th (maybe early 20th) century Fantasy novels or something. I'm almost sure they were used in Erewhon by Samuel Butler (but I'm not at home so I can't check). I've seen them used a few times but I'm struggling to remember any actualy titles, sorry!
 
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Aufero vestri dmno manuum a meus antenna
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didn't L'Mort de Arthur do that too? A little summation of what happens in the chapter?


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Posts: 37699 | Location: Jacksonville, FL | Registered: December 13, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Shoggoth's Most Peculiar
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Had a quick glance through some books tonight.

My copy of Erewhon doesn't have them but the sequel (Erewhon Revisited) does.

Amy, you're right, my copy of L'Mort D'Arthur has them, as does my copy of Don Quixote
 
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the Wicked Little Critta
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Every chapter of AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS by Jules Verne, started with "in which". I had wondered that about STARDUST too. I think it's an endearing way to bring the reader into the chapters.


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Always the April Fool
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Thanks everybody!
 
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Goofy Beast
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I could imagine it's also connected to serialisation; starting off each episode in a newspaper or magazine with that sort of preview trailer whets your appetite and might also remind you of what happened before.


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Posts: 10887 | Location: Switzerland | Registered: September 05, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It's actually an old tradition, both in fantasy novels and in other older forms of literature. Back in the day, chapters didn't have names as such, but numbers (e.g. Chapter the First, Chapter the Second, etc). If the chapter had anything besides a number, it would be a sort of summary of the chapter, traditionally beginning with the words "in which" or "wherein," and the like.

Nowadays it's fallen more by the wayside, and people mostly like to give chapters artsy names that have some sort of philosophical meaning in accordance with the content. Mostly, it's used by fantasy writers who want to give their work an 'old' feeling, a 'fairy-tale' quality (as was the case with Stardust), or a humorous tone (as was the case with Anansi Boys).

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Posts: 3 | Location: NY | Registered: July 26, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I wondered whether George MacDonald did that too, but he actually does the - more modern? - thing of naming the chapters instead.


quote:
Originally posted by aitapata:
didn't L'Mort de Arthur do that too? A little summation of what happens in the chapter?


And you had me running off to check my copy (even though it's just a Czech translation) before I finished reading the thread and read denver's reply just under yours... and had me searching for it in my piles of books, mistaking it for Treasure of Sierra Madre, in spite of the latter being much thinner, wondering whether there was some kind of curse for unsearchable piles of books and a lack of bookshelves in a small house... and then I found it on a table; and yes, even the Czech translation has a Czech equivalent of "in which..." ("jak...", which is actually "how...", but it's the traditional thing to use) End of story.


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