If you were an English major like me, you might be familiar with the mysterious Jane chord. Years ago, a literature professor shared with me the joy of piecing together the Jane chord of a novel: take the first few words and the last few words of a novel and string them together to create a new sentence or phrase. A Jane chord is, I imagine, rarely premeditated, and it isn’t meant to hold up under intense literary analysis or critique, but it’s always a pleasure to discover what secrets one may reveal about the narrative it encloses.
Is a Jane chord revelatory? Sometimes. Is it serendipitous? Always.
For example, here’s the Jane chord from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: “It was nearing midnight and there was still one last golden day of peace to enjoy with Ron and Hermione.” Does this Jane chord foreshadow the events to come in The Deathly Hallows? It kinda does.
Secret Belgian bound book of illustrations, 5 3/4 x 7 3/4 x 3/4, edition of 20 + 2 exhibition copies, 2018
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