Main Page

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
(Difference between revisions)
Jump to: navigation, search
(3 intermediate revisions by one user not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
__NOTOC__
+
__NOTOC__{{DISPLAYTITLE:explain xkcd}}
{{DISPLAYTITLE:explain xkcd}}
+
 
<center>
 
<center>
<big>''Welcome to the '''explain [[xkcd]]''' wiki!''</big>
+
<font size=5px>''Welcome to the '''explain [[xkcd]]''' wiki!''</font>
  
 
We have collaboratively explained [[:Category:Comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9}}''' xkcd comics]],
 
We have collaboratively explained [[:Category:Comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9}}''' xkcd comics]],
Line 11: Line 10:
 
remain. '''[[Help:How to add a new comic explanation|Add yours]]''' while there's a chance!
 
remain. '''[[Help:How to add a new comic explanation|Add yours]]''' while there's a chance!
 
</center>
 
</center>
 
 
== Latest comic ==
 
== Latest comic ==
 
 
<div style="border:1px solid grey; background:#eee; padding:1em;">
 
<div style="border:1px solid grey; background:#eee; padding:1em;">
 
<span style="float:right;">[[{{LATESTCOMIC}}|'''Go to this comic explanation''']]</span>
 
<span style="float:right;">[[{{LATESTCOMIC}}|'''Go to this comic explanation''']]</span>
Line 29: Line 26:
 
* If you're new to wikis like this, take a look at these help pages describing [[mw:Help:Navigation|how to navigate]] the wiki, and [[mw:Help:Editing pages|how to edit]] pages.
 
* If you're new to wikis like this, take a look at these help pages describing [[mw:Help:Navigation|how to navigate]] the wiki, and [[mw:Help:Editing pages|how to edit]] pages.
  
* Discussion about various parts of the wiki is going on at [[Explain XKCD:Community portal]]. Share your 2¢!
+
* Discussion about various parts of the wiki is going on at [[Explain XKCD:Community portal]]. Share your 2¢!
  
 
* [[List of all comics]] contains a complete table of all xkcd comics so far and the corresponding explanations. The red links ([[like this]]) are missing explanations. Feel free to help out by creating them! [[Help:How to add a new comic explanation|Here's how]].
 
* [[List of all comics]] contains a complete table of all xkcd comics so far and the corresponding explanations. The red links ([[like this]]) are missing explanations. Feel free to help out by creating them! [[Help:How to add a new comic explanation|Here's how]].
  
 
== Rules ==
 
== Rules ==
Don't be a jerk. There are a lot of comics that don't have set in stone explanations; feel free to put multiple interpretations in the wiki page for each comic.
+
Don't be a jerk. There are a lot of comics that don't have set in stone explanations; feel free to put multiple interpretations in the wiki page for each comic.
  
 
If you want to talk about a specific comic, use its discussion page.
 
If you want to talk about a specific comic, use its discussion page.

Revision as of 05:35, 4 March 2013

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!

We have collaboratively explained Expression error: Unrecognised punctuation character ",". xkcd comics, and only Expression error: Unrecognised punctuation character ",". (Expression error: Unrecognised punctuation character ",".%) remain. Add yours while there's a chance!

Latest comic

Go to this comic explanation

Ozymandias
And on the pedestal these words appear: "And on the pedestal these words appear: "And on the pedestal these words appear: "And ...
Title text: And on the pedestal these words appear: "And on the pedestal these words appear: "And on the pedestal these words appear: "And ...

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Please expound upon this explanation.

Ponytail is reciting the opening of "Ozymandias" by Percy Bysshe Shelley. However, instead of continuing on with the poem, Ponytail is going through a recursion where the information is always being quoted from "a traveler from an antique land" who recounts what they were told by a similar traveler from another antique land. The title text once again plays with recursion, but instead of it being a string of travelers talking about travelers, it is a string of pedestals that are quoting pedestals. (In the original poem, the text on the pedestal is itself recounted as part of the traveler's story, so there are already two levels of quotation.)

The fact that Ponytail is now telling Cueball the story of this recursion implies that she is yet another layer of this recursion and is herself "a traveler from an antique land."

The quotes are not nested properly, as they never end. So there is only the starting quotation mark (") for each quote. If she ever finishes there would be one closing quotation mark for each quote in the recursion at the end of her sentence.

The poem "Ozymandias" is mentioned on pages 169 and 170 of the book Recursive Desire: Rereading Epic Tradition by Jeremy M. Downes.

Ozymandias Text

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away."[1]

  1. Percy Bysshe Shelley, "Ozymandias" in Miscellaneous and Posthumous Poems of Percy Bysshe Shelley (London: W. Benbow, 1826), 100.

Transcript

[Ponytail is addressing Cueball.]
Ponytail: I met a traveler from an antique land who said: "I met a traveler from an antique land, who said "I met a traveler from an antique land, who said "I met ...


Is this out of date? Clicking here will fix that.

New here?

You can read a brief introduction about this wiki at explain xkcd. Feel free to sign up for an account and contribute to the wiki! We need explanations for comics, characters, themes, memes and everything in between. If it is referenced in an xkcd web comic, it should be here.

  • List of all comics contains a complete table of all xkcd comics so far and the corresponding explanations. The red links (like this) are missing explanations. Feel free to help out by creating them! Here's how.

Rules

Don't be a jerk. There are a lot of comics that don't have set in stone explanations; feel free to put multiple interpretations in the wiki page for each comic.

If you want to talk about a specific comic, use its discussion page.

Please only submit material directly related to —and helping everyone better understand— xkcd... and of course only submit material that can legally be posted (and freely edited.) Off-topic or other inappropriate content is subject to removal or modification at admin discretion, and users who repeatedly post such content will be blocked.

If you need assistance from an admin, feel free to leave a message on their personal discussion page. The list of admins is here.

Personal tools
Namespaces

Variants
Actions
Navigation
Tools

It seems you are using noscript, which is stopping our project wonderful ads from working. Explain xkcd uses ads to pay for bandwidth, and we manually approve all our advertisers, and our ads are restricted to unobtrusive images and slow animated GIFs. If you found this site helpful, please consider whitelisting us.

Want to advertise with us, or donate to us with Paypal?