Thursday May 23, 2013
Have you chosen the name of their child (or pet) based on an author or a character from your favorite novel? Perhaps you've used a creature, a place, a term, or other artifact of literary fame.
It's not really that surprising. It's both an homage and a telltale sign. I've often agonized over finding the perfect name for a character in a story. It's often the same with parents as we chose the name a child will have for the rest of his/her life (unless the child decides to legally change it).
Not all parents who select names like Alice, Emerson, Byron, Harper, Homer, or Anna have thought about the literary connections. Some of us do, however, consider the literary dimension. So, what factors did you consider when you chose your child's literary name?
With every book that comes out, there's the ripple effect of popular names, derived from novels like Twilight, The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, or The Great Gatsby (yeah, the movie will likely make the character names popular again).
- We are drawn to the character.
- We like the character traits.
- We love the place or time when something has happened.
- We're just book geeks (and want to create a literary personification of a character, place, or creature).
Thus, the name (or some derivative thereof) is further perpetuated.
So, Is there a name you're "saving" for your future son or daughter? Perhaps, you've already named your kids after the characters in Pride and Prejudice or Ulysses. It happens all the time!
Some book geeks even name their kids, pets or cars after book titles or bits of literary trivia. What better way to put our love of literature on display, and make it an even bigger part of our lives?!?
Tuesday May 7, 2013
There's a certain kind of irony to this story...
Harper Lee is a world-famous, award-winning author, known for her To Kill a Mockingbird, where her characters argue for tolerance, racial justice and human kindness. Atticus says: "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... 'til you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it."
According to recent reports from Telegraph, Bloomberg, LA Times, and beyond--a literary agent "engaged in a scheme to dupe" Harper Lee into signing away her copyright. In doing so, the agent purportedly knew about Lee's poor health and failing eyesight.
While Lee has avoided most forms of publicity (interviews, appearances, book tours, etc.) in the years since To Kill a Mockingbird was published, she's making a statement now (even if she's still staying out of the limelight as much as possible). With this lawsuit, Lee appears to once again be standing up against the injustice in society (this time, with herself in center stage). To Kill a Mockingbird drew everyone's attention to the racial injustices in the South; her current case sheds light on elder abuse and age discrimination.
Harper Lee celebrated another birthday on April 28--she was born in 1926. It's refreshing to see that she's still fighting back against injustice in all forms, at any time.
Thursday May 2, 2013
Under the category of NOT THE SAME AT ALL... I came across a great little article from GalleyCat today, about digital autographs.
Authorgraph has been around since 2011. According to the FAQ, "It's a personal, digital inscription for an e-book. It is sent directly from an author to a reader's digital reading device."
If you really think about it, a digital signature of this sort makes sense (in an off-kilter, impersonal way). If we're buying more ebooks, the only way for the books to be signed is via electronic means. And, the separate digital nature of the authorgraph allows the book collector/reader/fan to keep all the digital inscriptions in one (safe/secure) place.
But, of course, the concept of a digital inscription misses the point of an autograph altogether (or at least it does in my mind). Remember the times you've stood in line to meet your favorite author(s)? Or, if you've not yet met him/her, at least that's something tangible to look forward to--part of your "someday-dream-to-meet" musings. The autograph represents a real-life connection with the author--in the present, or back through literary history, as you collect the autographed copies of your favorite novel(s).
But, I'm curious, have you ever received an authorgraph from a favorite author? How many autographs have you collected (or gotten from authors (or other favorite persons-of-interest)? Would you want an authorgraph (the digital inscription)... and/or would you consider giving one as a gift?
Wednesday May 1, 2013
It's May Day! I love this day. Not only was my baby sister born on this day--greeted with Aurora Borealis in the sky upon the advent of her birth--but it's also the first day of May. The flowers are blooming; the birds are singing; and it seems the perfect opportunity to curl up with a good book and read for a while.
In May Day, Sarah Teasdale writes:
"A delicate fabric of bird song
Floats in the air,
The smell of wet wild earth
What are you reading today?