Disambiguations™ for March 26, 2010
In the Guardian, shades of Steve Hely:
Now, though, what still is – and will continue to be – called literary fiction has also caught the "samey title" virus. At times I suspect there's a computer somewhere that spews out clichéd names for such works, depending on how badly the publishers want it to be Taken Very Seriously Indeed.
The Inheritance of Loss, for example: what a tiresomely predictable title for a Booker winner. Honestly – The Inheritance of Loss? Presumably the marketing department keyed in "self-important, depressing, award-winning, Literary-with-a-capital-L" and hit Return, and this is what the machine gave them. (They also added the fairly redundant subtitle, "A Novel", just in case we might have mistaken it for a comical sports book.) Add to this list of shame such dreadful titles as: Notes from a Turkish Whorehouse. The Reluctant Fundamentalist. The Secret Scripture. The Accordionist's Son. The Storyteller's Tale. (Christ, that doesn't even read grammatically.) The Clumsy. The Trite. The Cynical. The horror ...
(Does the caption to this article really say "A pile of books"??)
III. Am teaching B.S. Johnson's "book in a box," The Unfortunates, next week. Realized I'd read about the holes in Albert Angelo's pages, but I'd never seen them. (The edition I have, the ND paperback, does not have the holes cut out.)
Here it is!
Other books with holes: Salvador Plascencia's People of Paper:
(More on Johnson here.)