Tracking the Page 23 Meme to its source, starting from where I first saw it:
OKCalvin < Tulipgirl < Thinklings < Jared < Elfin Ethicist < Limey Brit < Woodlief < Collected Miscellany < Caterina < David Chess < Long Story Short Pier < Elkins < Happy Potterer < Sternel (fails to credit, but leaves hint in comments) < Peg Kerr < Kij < Chris < Bob Howe < Silvertide < Sentimental Curmudgeon < Tully Monster’s Fair and Balanced Fossil Record < Paintbrush Sage < Cyn < Seamus D.
Deep into LJ territory, the trail abruptly ends, with Seamus D reattributing the meme back to Tully, who in turn cross-attributes it to BluishOrange, whose trail returns through the A-listers to Seamus D. This trail was also sniffed by CrushingKrisis (Wish I’d seen that earlier, *kick self*). Unfortunately, neither the Google cache nor the Wayback Archive have mirrors of Seamus D’s entry, so the source is lost to the ages.
Update: Or is it? Some LJers have been meme-tracking in plaintext, starting from Andpuff’s list, we can pick up a new trail to: Ranger Rick < Stone Mirror < Artistic Chaos, who points to Cynaguan as having taken the first question in Paigh’s survey post, and changed it to the “23/5” format.
Imagine that. It all started as one of those mundane email surveys posted to someone’s LJ.
(Oh, my results? Well, the nearest “book” to me is The Scarlet Letter, but it’s in Palm DOC format, so there aren’t any “pages” or “lines” in CSpotRun, so I’ll pass on the meme, thanks. ;)
Update 2: Duh, it was done, and researched, and concluded. Even tracking the meme is a meme in itself, I suppose.