Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Favorite chapter titles



What are some of your favorite chapter titles from Diana Gabaldon's books, and why?  What is it about them that makes some titles especially noteworthy?

Some of them stand out on re-reading because you know the chapter contains a wonderful scene.  "The First Law of Thermodynamics", from DRUMS OF AUTUMN, or "Hearthfire", from FIERY CROSS, for example.  Just seeing those chapter titles can put me in a good mood, knowing what's coming. <g>

Some of them are allusions to 20th-century pop culture.  "Strangers in the Night" from FIERY CROSS, for example; I always get the Sinatra song stuck in my head for days after I listen to that chapter. <g>  Also "Bottom of the Ninth", from DRUMS (the chapter where Jemmy is born).

Some send chills of foreboding up my spine just seeing the title. "Timor Mortis Conturbat Me", from DRAGONFLY, always has that effect on me, especially since I thought to look up the translation of the Latin phrase. <shudder>

Some are just funny, or unexpected plays on words. "Three-Thirds of a Goat", from FIERY CROSS, with the reference to the "ghost" chapter titles in DRUMS, always makes me smile.

And some are baffling, unless viewed in context.  "Oenomancy" (divination by wine), from ECHO, made no sense at all to me until I read the chapter.  Ditto for "Amplexus", in SCOTTISH PRISONER.

What about the rest of you?  Do you have a favorite chapter title or two?  And what is it that makes them so memorable?  (Please note: let's leave the chapter titles from WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART'S BLOOD out of this discussion, since not everyone wants to see them ahead of time.)

4 comments:

Karen Charbonneau said...

I haven't paid much attention to the chapter titles because I've been so engrossed in the story.

Anonymous said...

Turtle Soup--enough said? LOL!

Jenny B said...

My favorite has always been "Lost, and By the Wind Grieved" in Voyager when Young Ian is captured. I don't know why this resonates with me but it sounds so poetic!

Anonymous said...

Ms Henry: I am having rouble discerning any other means of contacting you, so I'm trying this. I'm a senior writer at Maclean's, the Canadian newsweekly, and I'm going to interview Ms Gabaldon on Monday (June 2). I'm interested in speaking with her fans as well, and though their number includes every woman I know among my wife and her friends, I think it best to try a stranger. Would you be interested in a brief chat on Monday? Just email me a number if so. Thanks for your time.
brian.bethune@macleans.rogers.com