Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The number 23 applied to Big Sur

The 23rd word on every 23rd page of Big Sur (Penguin, 1981) yields:

Windows very and man see wagons Lionel out him Sur.

Every 23rd word starting from page 1 yields doodly-squat*, as does every 23rd letter starting from page 1, as does every 23rd word on page 23, as does every 23rd letter on page 23.

Oh, well, it doesn't discourage me. It's probably my particular version of the novel that prevents the number 23 phenonemon from working. After all, William Burroughs was the first to notice the mysterious number 23, so it has to be true.

Okay, I just typed that I wasn't discouraged and it sent me back to the preface (where Jack talks of the Duluoz legend). Every 23rd word yields:

Sick on book collect whole raging.

If you know Big Sur, you know that this last finding redeems the number 23!

*A beat movie reference. Be the first to tell me which one and I'll send you a free copy of The Beat Handbook.


Michael Gunin said...

Pull my daisy?

Rick Dale, author of The Beat Handbook said...

Thanks for the guess, but . . . no. When I say beat movie reference, it means the movie had a beat character (or characters) in it (by my definition). Could be old, could be new.