Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Favorite chapter titles in Diana Gabaldon's books

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, 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), and "Brought to You By the Letters Q, E, and D", from MOHB (which is a reference to Sesame Street).

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 looked 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.  I also like "Squid of the Evening, Beautiful Squid", from MOHB.

I love the titles that expand my vocabulary, even if I find them baffling on the first reading.  "Oenomancy" (divination by wine), from ECHO, made no sense at all to me until I read the chapter.  Ditto for "Amplexus", in SCOTTISH PRISONER.  And "Absquatulation", from ABOSAA, is a cool word, that I hadn't encountered before I read that book. <g> For that matter, so is "Amphisbaena", from MOHB.

What about the rest of you?  Do you have a favorite chapter title or two?  And what is it that makes them so memorable?

4 comments:

Jackie said...

I can't remember, but I know she has some doozies. She is very creative with her titles. I liked Voyager, and The Prodigals Return is referring to the boy. I even forget his name! You'll have to excuse me, it has been a long while since I read them and I am not happy with the TV series so far. It is so hard to get. I've only seen up until they went to Paris and then the tv show ended . . Nowhere to find Outlander anywhere. I hope it starts up again soon...it.would be fun to re-read the books too. I have 'em all and yes I've read them only once thru, but it was good.

Mary Tormey said...

Hi Karen, to me the chapters tell the reader what they will be reading in that particular chapter , "A New Beginning 's an example also is
"A Marriage Takes Place' another is "The Laird's Return and "The Watch " others like Strawberry Fields Forever: in "Drums of Autunm ' are pretty funny , so I'm glad that Diana names her chapters a lot of authors don't , I wonder what titles Diana will be using for Book #9, can't wait to find out, please post more soon. Happy Holidays , love your Blog, Sincerely

♥Susanlynn said...

"The FIrst Law of Thermodynamics " in Voyager made me wonder what a law that I learned in Physics classes fit into the Outlander universe. Then, I read it and underlined Jamie's explanation to Claire concerning what will happen to them after death. I want to think that the sentiments apply to hubby and me. The thought of separation after the death of your spouse is unsettling and sad. Jamie's words gave me hope and comfort.

Lorraine Black said...

Hi Karen, I love chpt 3 of MOBY - In Which the Women, as Usual, Pick Up the Pieces. It's just after William has discovered who his father is and Claire has seen that Jamie is not indeed dead. It's interesting to see that Diana has the same outlook as many other women. We're always left cleaning up the mess.