An index is a tool, nothing more, nothing
less: whether it is used to revisit a favorite passage, to "cheat"
by not reading or by jumping to selected passages, or to locate
passages for further study, it is not a moral instrument.
Lisa Mirabile, "Origins and Objectives of
An Index to The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje"
This index of John Gardner's novel
is an amateur's work-in-progress. Comments and suggestions are
As a friend has observed, the real power of Learning on the
internet is not found in the impressive and overwhelming mass
of raw data that exists out here. Real Learning happens on a
smaller scale, among the webs of personal connections shaped
by common interests and a generous spirit. So I have people to
Many thanks to Suzanne Morine, whose very practical Index to The Catcher in the Rye gave
me the big idea - and whose link to the American Society of Indexers gave me a few more.
The above-quoted article by Lisa Mirabile has also given me much
to think about. Check out her Index to The English Patient.
Thanks to Fr. Bob Carroll for explaining some basic principles
of calculus to me. Thanks to Dee Schulten for introducing me
to Gardner's letter to Miss West's class. Thanks
to the kind members of The John Gardner Discussion List (currently
two lists, Gardner-L
and Yahoo) who taught me a lot. Thanks to Tom Fasano for generously sharing his resources. Thanks to The Arch and the Abyss for a very useful Checklist of Secondary Sources. Thanks to Bernd
Wahlbrink for pushing me to think about a connection between
Grendel and Holden Caulfield. Thanks to Donald Buggert for lending
a hand with some philosophical/theological intricacies (any goofs
are mine). Thanks to Dannielle Spindler-Swart for steering me
toward Norse mythology.
Tom Murphy, O. Carm.
learn more about indexing
Written by Tom Murphy,
O. Carm. 2000-2003. All rights reserved. Teachers, students,
and readers at large may use for non-commercial, educational