Thursday, February 16, 2012

What's My Name?

Great Expectations. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. The Curious Incident of the dog in the Nighttime.  These are great titles. The first one isn't very flashy, but it is simple and suggests a world of dreams that, perhaps, will never come true. The last three are pure imagination.

Titles don't have to be flashy to be cool. I love Thomas Pyncheon's V (the title, not the book. Hey, I tried!) and Gravity's Rainbow. To Kill a Mockingbird and One Hundred Years of Solitude are pure poetry. So is For Whom the Bell Tolls, obviously.

Some song titles are  amazing too. Of course Dylan springs to mind, with "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35."  "Oops, I Did It Again," not so much.

I like funny titles, like Stephen Colbert's I Am America, and So Can You, as well as How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, and Me Talk Pretty One Day.

It's incredible when authors showcase their style with a title. I don't mean just finding a way to linking all titles together, but if you can give the reader an idea of what you're all about as an author in four or five words, that's genius. Harlan Ellison's I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are (the book! Not the movie!) L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time ... 

Those names seem so simple, and yet they are so definite at the same time. It's as though the books always existed. Do you know how hard that is to do?!

Bravo, authors, you purveyor of words, for imagining such delightful names! Now, Dear Readers, what titles do you particularly love?

1 comment:

Carlie M A Cullen said...

There are a few that resonate with me for different reasons (mainly humour):

Angus Thongs & Perfect Snogging

Afterthoughts of a Worm Hunter

How To Shit In The Woods

Maybe it's my English sense of humour, but I cracked up when I saw the last one!

Hope it gives you a chuckle & brightens your day!

C x