Confessions: #2 sometimes I fake literary conversance

Making references to great literary works is a surefire way to impress educated people. Sometimes I do it even if I haven’t read the book – I find knowing a book’s opening and a little about the protagonist is enough to get by. Great literature often opens with a great, and memorable opening. It’s often possible to fake a workable knowledge of the classics just by paying attention to how other people use them.

For instance, this week, in Ben’s quiz, I made a “call me Ishmael” joke even though I’ve never actually read Moby Dick.

Do you have anything to confess?


Ben McLaughlin says:

Ha! that’s funny. I do the same thing. I even did it with Moby Dick the other day on my blog as well. Oh, the shame.

Amy says:

I read Twilight. That’s pretty bad.

But, I do make up for it by reading a lot of other stuff too. Not Moby Dick though.

Anika Q says:

I quote Shakespare sometimes. But the main reason I am able to do it is because I’ve watched “Yes, Minister” to the point of knowing most of the script by heart…for what I’m really doing is quoting the “Yes Minister” characters quoting Shakespeare…

JRS says:

Embrace it. All the ‘educated people’ are doing anyway. If you need some encouragement I can recommend this.

Not that I have actually read it.

Lestat DeLioncourt says:

oh man, I used this method all the time to criticize Jane Austen, but admittedly I have taken a more scholarly interest in her works now – am I now one of those “used to be cool” people? :P