Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Peggy is the titular head of our family. And that’s not the only reason I married her.
What I mean is that she is great at titles. To prove my point I offer the names of her novels; Morning in the Long Night City, Among These Several, and This Water, This Dry Land.
Her poems also have that Aylsworthian touch, a little slant, a lot memorable. Some of her sui generis best are: When Empty is Full, White as the Light Changes, City at the Edge of the Poem.
Tis a gift to be a namer; one who can create a short, arresting phrase that describes a manuscript and is itself congruent and worthy of the whole. Shakespeare, of course, had it with As You Like It or All’s Well That Ends Well but one wonders if he could have done better with Macbeth, Hamlet or Richard III. I always regard a character’s name as a failure of the imagination though with the Bard I know I’m on shaky ground.
I greatly admire Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises and For Whom the Bell Tolls. Even Gone with the Wind, as a title, was more inspired than the book itself. Another gem was Catch-22.
I am in the process of compiling a book of my blogs. I’ve chosen which ones but I am at a loss for a title. I’d steal it if I could think of one. Moby Dick doesn’t work nor Rabbit, Run. I thought of Catch-11 or Great Expectorations but those will have to wait for another day.
I wonder if some authors think of a title first and then write a book to fit it, in the same way that I might come across a great greeting card and then make a friend who would appreciate it.
I seem to have no problem titling a single piece but now I need a few words which embody over one hundred essays varying from poetry to political rants, memories, musings, mischief and meditation told from a distinct perch with a touch of wit and the absurd.
A few tries that got shot down from within or by others were, WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA?, SERIOUS FUN, and I GOT IT, I GOT IT, I DON’T GOT IT.
Indulge me; as I fill this page. It's my way of thinking. Now I'm getting drowsy, almost halfway to Honduras. Light bulbs are going on overhead. By George, I’ve got it. I think I’ve got it. I shall christen the book, THE MARRIAGE of EVERYTHING. Thank you and good night.