Monday, June 27, 2016
Word of the Week - 121
Coming up with a title for any sort of work presents an opportunity for great creative mischief. A few days before the UK and its choice filled the news, wall-to-wall, I had been thinking of a British gift for wry understatement. My classic example is Dorothy L. Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey mystery, "The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club." Unpleasantness, indeed. Murder.
A theme of titles also recalls another British source, this concerning a long-term lack of clarity, for The Who song is called "Baba O'Riley" and not "Teenage Wasteland."
Another favorite, since it arrived on the scene, is "Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb." On the slight chance you've never seen it, here is the trailer.
It is summer, time for reading, once a time for going to the movies where the air conditioning was free. Perhaps it is still a time for that. All of which means titles. Titles, titles and more titles. "To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street" or "Nancy's Mysterious Letter" or "Big Wednesday." For years I read southern writers during the summer, heat always being a component of southern fiction. Eudora Welty's "Delta Wedding," Carson McCullers' "The Member of the Wedding" and other works, Truman Capote's "Other Voices, Other Rooms," Flannery O'Connor's "Wise Blood." Whether it is true or not, I remember summer as the time of seeing westerns and the occasional epic (for the era), like "Giant."
Making lists of things to read, things to watch is a perfectly valid summer activity. So, too, is writing a list of gifts to make for Christmas and then starting to make them. But, she whined, there is so much time and so many other things to do. In December, just remember using that as your excuse. Meanwhile, I'll be over here trying to find a version of "Earth vs. the Flying Saucers." And taking a nap.