“So, what are the first and last words of the book?” Rick asked.
“Ah, the Jane Chord!” I replied.
The Jane Chord, to which Bill Buckley introduced us years ago, is a concept originally promulgated by Hugh Kenner. The idea is that if you make a two-word sentence out of the first and last words of a book, it will tell you something revealing about the book in question. Or not: the Jane Chord of Pride and Prejudice is It/them. But every once in a while you run across a Jane Chord so resonant that it makes the room shiver–the chord for Death Comes for the Archbishop is One/built–and even when a famous book yields up nonsense, it’s still a good game to play….
Read the whole thing here.