the literary stick was born out of commuter boredom – I live an hour from the middle school where I teach, and I needed something to do in the car. It’s a more manageable version of a video series I started called An Allusion in a Minute. An Allusion in a Minute was amusing and well received by my students, but the amount of time it took to put a single video together quickly became unmanageable.

As a reader, I love running across those references that authors make to other works, or to popular culture, or to other dead (or living, really) humans. Having the prior knowledge to understand these references makes me feel like I’m part of an inside joke.

Here’s the little known secret: I haven’t read all of the books, watched all of the TV shows, etc. that are necessary to get all of the references. But I know enough about a lot of these different stories or people that I can still understand the reference.

That’s what the literary stick is for. It’s me creating a cheat sheet for allusions, symbols, archetypes and what-have-you. I’ll also periodically write about allusions, etc. that I come across in my reading, and post videos or gifs of great allusions I find (or that are sent to me) across the internet.

This is really fun for me. I hope you enjoy it too.

Yours in text,

eli, the (book) supplier