If the myths that surround the number 13 are still
alive in all western cultures and beyond, then it is
because such a thing as western culture is
radically rooted in these myths, which represent
nothing less than the foundation myths of western
Hence it is a legitimate – not to say crucial – task of
literary research to scrutinize the role of the
number 13 in western literature. One could for example
compare the thirteenth line of the most spoken-of
and most written-about texts, let's say the top 100.
This is the result. Please click the button below to start
comparing the lines. And please feel free to download a free
unique and personalized copy in order to continue the
The editor would like to thank Daniel Shiffman for
his inspiring lessons and for the scrolling algorithm
used on the website. Thanks go also to Nick Montfort for his
inspiring work at the boundaries of code and literature.
This book is dedicated to the memory of Werner Hamacher.
The source texts used in this comparative research
are all taken from Project Gutenberg, the 13th line
of each text appearing here as it is held in that