Saturday, June 25, 2005

Normblog on the name game

Normblog on the Name game
The very great and good Norman Geras - an honorary Mancunian - has the excellent Roosevelt Brighton as his West Indian cricketer name, and the very exotic Lambretta Metformin as his Star wars name. Actually, I'm a bit in the dark on Star Wars as I am one of the three people on the planet never to have seen any of the various episodes. The current Doonesbury story is largely passing me by as a result.
Norm invited people to send him cool names. I always liked Canaan Banana myself, and was intrigued to learn that Brian Eno's full name was Brian Peter St John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno. Mind you, 'er indoors once taught a girl called Cadillac Alexis Snow White Meredith Bennett...

Thursday, June 23, 2005

What's in a name?

There's an entertaining thread on the Mark Radcliffe show at the moment. He's playing that game that we've all done where you create a name from certain elements, and the name is then your porn star name or somesuch. My porn star name (my first pet plus the street name of my first address) is pretty good - Sandy Belding - but 'er indoors has a perfect one: Mitzi Nansen. On the Radcliffe show they've invented your West Indian cricketer name, which is the surname of the US president in the year of your birth plus the last seaside town you visited. This would yield Eisenhower St Annes in my case, but St Annes is a cheat because I live there, so I'm going for Eisenhower Formby, a tricky left arm spinner methinks. Someone on the show had Nixon Whitby, which is perfect - a classic fast bowler name - and there are going to be lots of youngsters who could have names like Clinton Scarborough and Reagan Cromer. Radcliffe also suggested your Star Wars name, which would be the first car you owned followed by the name of any medication you're on, which yields not much in my case as I'm not on medication - yet - but I could cheat and go for Austin Optrex. I can't compete, however with the fabulous example on the show - Wartburg Anusol!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

How The Waste Land was done | Research | How The Waste Land was done
You'd have thought it would be difficult to say anything new about The Waste Land but Prof Rainey appears to have done the impossible. In doing so, he has managed to confirm what I suspect many people have felt - that the poem is not a magisterially organised organic whole, but really is "fragments shored against my ruins". The paradox in much criticism of the poem has been that in celebrating its quintessentially modernist attributes of ambiguity, uncertainty, provisionality, writers have then suggested that the unfinished feel of the poem is all part of Eliot's master plan. Not so, according to Prof Rainey. Not sure whether I should point my students in the direction of these findings, as they could suggest that the poem really is what it appears to be - a rattle bag of half-finished bits and pieces. They are very superior bits and pieces, though.