Nicholas Nickleby

RORY: But I’m not done collecting my data yet.
LORELAI: You have a document the length of Nicholas Nickleby here. Looks like you’re done.

Nicholas Nickleby, 1839 novel by Charles Dickens. It is about an honest, naïve young man who must support his mother and sister after the death of his father. It is 344,652 words long, or about 800 pages.

Lorelai is the first person to notice that there are many more pros for Yale than Harvard or Princeton on Rory’s pro/con list.

Proust Wrote in Bed

RORY: I hate that you’re torturing yourself like this, in bed like this.
PARIS: Proust wrote all three thousand pages of In Search of Lost Time in bed.

Marcel Proust, previously discussed as the author of In Search of Lost Time. Proust had lifelong poor health caused by severe allergies and asthma, and rarely left his apartment. He wrote much of In Search of Lost Time sitting up in bed, and was completely confined to bed for the last three years before his death.

“I’m an island”

LUKE: I’m an island.
LORELAI: Luke, I’m sorry about all this, but I’m not anticipating the inn catching fire ever again, so it’s a one time only thing, okay?

Luke refers to the famous quote, “No man is an island” from the poem “Meditation VII” by John Donne. He may also be thinking of the 1965 Simon & Garfunkel song, “I Am a Rock”, which says, “I am a rock, I am an island”, written from the point of view of someone isolated and emotionally detached.

Of course, for all his reclusive ways, Luke is never an island, he is always there for his community. And of course Lorelai always wants him to do “just this one thing” for her, repeatedly. He never says no.

West Point

POE 1: I myself attended West Point … I’m embarrassed to say that I was court-martialed in 1832 and forced to leave.

POE 2: Excuse me, but I was expelled from West Point in 1831, not 1832.

The United States Military Academy, also known as West Point, in West Point, New York. The site was originally Fort Clinton; it sits on strategic high ground overlooking the Hudson River. Founded in 1802, it is the oldest of the five American service academies and educates cadets for commissioning as officers into the US Army. The entire central campus is a National Historic Landmark and popular tourist destination.

Edgar Allan Poe entered West Point in 1830, and after deciding to pursue a career as a poet, purposefully got himself court-martialled in 1831 by refusing to attend classes, formations, and classes. The second Poe is correct.

“It’s like a Poe story in itself”

RORY: A second Poe?
LORELAI: It’s like a Poe story in itself.

RORY: The Case of the Two Poes.
LORELAI: The Messrs Poe and Poe.

Many of Edgar Allan Poe’s stories feature rivals or doppelgangers, most notably “William Wilson” (1839), about two boys at the same school with identical names and appearances, yet one believes that the other is quietly working against him in some unspecified manner.

Rory’s imaginary title suggests Edgar Allan Poe’s detective stories, the first ever written, such as “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”.

“He was a troubled man”

RORY: He was a troubled man. He enjoyed a little bit too much of the hmm-hmm. [makes a drinking gesture]

Edgar Allan Poe has been described as a drunkard or an alcoholic, but many of these stories about him were spread by his rivals and enemies. He did sometimes drink too much, and didn’t handle alcohol very well (so that even a little was probably too much for him), but it was often months or even years between bouts of drinking. He might perhaps be best described as a binge drinker. It is sometimes speculated that alcohol played some part in his death, but this cannot be verified.

The Raven

[A man dressed as Poe is reciting The Raven at the front of the room.]

“The Raven”, narrative poem by Edgar Allan Poe. Noted for its musicality, stylised language, and supernatural atmosphere, it tells of a distraught lover who is paid a mysterious visit by a talking raven. The poem makes use of folk, mythological, religious, and classical references.

“The Raven” was first attributed to Poe in print in the New York Evening Mirror in 845. Its publication made Poe popular in his lifetime, although it did not bring him much financial success. Critical opinion is divided as to the poem’s literary status, but it nevertheless remains one of the most famous poems ever written.