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Saturday, August 1, 2009

TITLES

So I finally met with my editor. Seems I have a lot of work to do. Seems also that the title of my novel—which has been with me since before I even started writing it—is to be killed off. With this in mind, I thought I should make public the title of my second novel, which should hopefully prove a little more straightforward than the first (and should get me invited to the Brooklyn Book Festival). I took inspiration from certain trends in high-end literary fiction by authors I seem to read a lot of. So, the title of my second book will be...

"The Old Man Who Was in The War and Kept His Memories in a Box Where the Nazis Couldn’t Find Them But Lost His Memory When Re-Captured and Retreated Into a Withdrawn Life of Amnesia Where No One Could Reach Him Except For a Young Boy Who Is Fiercely Intelligent But Resists Any Sort of Authority Because of The Sudden Death of His Father at The Hands of A Rare Degenerative Muscular Disease For Which There Was No Cure and Which Forced His Mother Into a Dark Depression and Dependence of Sleeping Tablets So Much So That She Spent Her Days in a Dark Room Suffering What She Called Her Serious Headaches and Refused the Help Anyone Offered Her and In Doing So Alienated Her Only Son Who Runs Away from Home and Turns to Drink and Drugs Before His Encounter With the Old Man with Amnesia Who Keeps His Memories in A Box Except The Boy Doesn’t Know Anything About the Old Man Yet When He Steals The Old Man’s Collection Of Memories Thinking It is a Box of Money When Actually They Are What The Old Man Calls Memories But Are Really Rare Butterflies Which Are Worth a Lot of Money but The Boy Doesn’t Know This and Neither Does the Old Man, Who Is Also Blind But Carves Braille Into the Butterflies Wings to Read Them And In Doing So Recapture His Memories But The Boy Doesn’t Know This Yet But Feels Bad for Taking the Old Man’s Butterflies and Tries to Find Him By Following Butterflies Through New York City Until He Stumbles Upon The Old Man Who By This Stage Has Gone Nearly Mad But When The Boy Goes Up to Him and Starts Speaking The Old Man Feels A Strange Sensation Like The Boy is a Key To His Past But He Can’t Work Out How But Then The Boy Sees in The Old Man a Chance for His Own Redemption and Together They Unravel The Mysteries of The Lives Which Are that The Boy’s Grandmother was The Old Man’s Lover Before The War and This Is Why The Old Man Got Amnesia Because He Could Not Bear to Absorb the Loss of The Boy’s Grandmother’s Love Because The Old Man left the Boy’s Grandmother at the Altar to Go Off and Fight The War But The Boy Tells The Old Man Stories About His Grandmother Who Was Actually Quite Important in His Life But Died from What was Called a Massive Stroke But Was Actually Probably a Broken Heart and The Old Man Suddenly Regains His Memory and the Boy Finds Purpose In His Life and There’s Maybe a Ghost in There Somewhere As Well."

12 comments:

lisa said...

I dunno Chris, I hate those short, vague titles. Are you really set on "The Old Man Who Was in The War and Kept His Memories in a Box Where the Nazis Couldn’t Find Them But Lost His Memory When Re-Captured and Retreated Into a Withdrawn Life of Amnesia Where No One Could Reach Him Except For a Young Boy Who Is Fiercely Intelligent But Resists Any Sort of Authority Because of The Sudden Death of His Father at The Hands of A Rare Degenerative Muscular Disease For Which There Was No Cure and Which Forced His Mother Into a Dark Depression and Dependence of Sleeping Tablets So Much So That She Spent Her Days in a Dark Room Suffering What She Called Her Serious Headaches and Refused the Help Anyone Offered Her and In Doing So Alienated Her Only Son Who Runs Away from Home and Turns to Drink and Drugs Before His Encounter With the Old Man with Amnesia Who Keeps His Memories in A Box Except The Boy Doesn’t Know Anything About the Old Man Yet When He Steals The Old Man’s Collection Of Memories Thinking It is a Box of Money When Actually They Are What The Old Man Calls Memories But Are Really Rare Butterflies Which Are Worth a Lot of Money but The Boy Doesn’t Know This and Neither Does the Old Man, Who Is Also Blind But Carves Braille Into the Butterflies Wings to Read Them And In Doing So Recapture His Memories But The Boy Doesn’t Know This Yet But Feels Bad for Taking the Old Man’s Butterflies and Tries to Find Him By Following Butterflies Through New York City Until He Stumbles Upon The Old Man Who By This Stage Has Gone Nearly Mad But When The Boy Goes Up to Him and Starts Speaking The Old Man Feels A Strange Sensation Like The Boy is a Key To His Past But He Can’t Work Out How But Then The Boy Sees in The Old Man a Chance for His Own Redemption and Together They Unravel The Mysteries of The Lives Which Are that The Boy’s Grandmother was The Old Man’s Lover Before The War and This Is Why The Old Man Got Amnesia Because He Could Not Bear to Absorb the Loss of The Boy’s Grandmother’s Love Because The Old Man left the Boy’s Grandmother at the Altar to Go Off and Fight The War But The Boy Tells The Old Man Stories About His Grandmother Who Was Actually Quite Important in His Life But Died from What was Called a Massive Stroke But Was Actually Probably a Broken Heart and The Old Man Suddenly Regains His Memory and the Boy Finds Purpose In His Life and There’s Maybe a Ghost in There Somewhere As Well." I mean, I just hate pithiness in a title.

Christopher Currie said...

I know what you mean. I just don't think this title communicates everything I want it to. I did originally have a subtitle, but you just don't want to be too obvious, you know?

lisa said...

It's a balancing act, for sure.

Krissy Kneen said...

Is that Ironic that you came up with the title for my book but can't use your one for your own?

Christopher Currie said...

Heavily.

Dr Strangeglove said...

the problem is the media will just shorten this title to its most important words: "and", or "but" maybe even "except"!--you can just never tell.

Zen Quill said...

Your title will make one hell of a bookmark for promo. Your title will also outdo the movie credits when it goes to screen. And you can start your own line of drinking cups like the Penguin titles and instead you could have a drinking vat/water tank that will easily accommodate the title. The potential ripple effect of this title is never ending.

edwina shaw said...

Love the title Chris but like your original one as well. What do they want you to call it? WHy didn't they like yours?

Liv said...

i think i would read a book called "except".

emilie collyer said...

Hi Chris, I am new to your blog. It is a good place.
I am very taken by your title, but wonder if you have considered the potential WOW factor of re-working it as an acronym.
It would look a little something like this:

T.O.M.W.W.I.T.W.A.K.H.M.I.A.B.W.T.N.C.F.T.B.L.H.M.W.R.C.A.R.I.A.W ...

Has a certain pith don't you think?

I would have done the rest but by my calculations that would have occupied around about 2 hours and 43 minutes of my time ...

Christopher Currie said...

That does indeed have a Certain Wow Factor, or C.W.F.

estelle said...

Mew have tried to beat your title with their new album name, but it's a pretty pathetic attempt: http://flavorwire.com/38079/exclusive-qa-mew-talks-about-no-more-stories