Wednesday, October 8, 2014

You too can have your own Dewey Decimal Number!

When I was growing up, I was told that William Shakespeare was the only individual author to have his own Dewey Decimal Number - that is, 822.33. I have since learned that this is not quite true. There are other authors with their own DDC numbers.

(Of course, you can also argue with that statement on the grounds that William Shakespeare was not the author of all plays attributed to him, or that he was not a real person at all but simply a ghostwriting pseudonym used by a series of different authors of that time; I will not get into that here; let it suffice to say that I myself am a Stratfordian.)

There are DDC numbers for several of the Greek Dramatists: 882.1 for Aeschylus, 882.2 for Sophocles, etc. Miguel de Cervantes pretty much wrote the first modern Spanish novel, so 863.3, which is Early Spanish Fiction,  mostly belongs to him. Most of 851.1 (Early Italian Poetry) is devoted to Dante.

And so on. The DDC number for 21st Century American Fiction is 813.6; it has not been cut into subsections yet, since we do not yet have the perspective to determine which authors have been the most influential of our time. But someday you, too, might have your own DDC number.

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