Rather than restfully snoozing last night, I spent the night rolling problems around in my head with the loving zeal of a wine lover tasting a properly lovely wine. Oh, there are plenty of things to ponder. But the real stumper, my friends, was this. Book character names fall into two categories for me.
1) Totally generic names appropriated for use in wonderful literature, but impossible to trace the reference.
2) Entirely bizarre names that crunch in my teeth and delight my mind, but are wholly unusable in The Real World.
There is, I suppose, the subcategory of really great names that I couldn’t use, but anyway, they’re from books I’ve never actually read!
Just to give you an idea of what I mean, I will give some examples of generic names of beloved characters.
Mark, Katharine, Jane, Arthur, Ned, Nat, Thomas. Which books did I mean?
The Pale Horse, Miss Marple, That Hideous Strength, By England’s Aid, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, and An Old-fashioned Girl.
Say it with me. Sure……
On the other end of the wild spectrum, we can inflict a case of the giggles on ourselves by imagining the infliction of one of these names on a perfectly ordinary child. For the purposes of this exercise, we will appropriate the surname Kidd. It’s funny.
Ivanhoe Kidd. That deserved punctuation.
That brings me to a hilarious aside, that I will share briefly.
Thalia: Can I name a child Azure?
Terpsichore: Well, it’s better than Scarlett, but worse than Alizarin.
But I don’t want to nip aside quickly and avoid the question. That’s not fair to you, my friends. I am assigned the task of saying which book character I would name a child after. So I will answer, but you must forgive me. I haven’t read the book this character lives in. I do not know his character, his moral fiber or his circumstances. But it’s a cool name, and I always meant to read the book. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quentin_Durward. Quentin is a cool name. Just ignore the famous film maker. He hardly matters.