Prufrock's Page

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Being of Unbearable Lightness

In his preface to the 25th anniversary edition of Midnight's Children, Rushdie restates what he's mentioned in interviews earlier -- that he spent days pondering over whether the book ought to be called Midnight's Children or Children of Midnight.

Well, had he faced that dilemma in today's times, chances are he would have plumped for the latter. It's almost a trend to title your book 'The ___ of ___', especially if you're among the tribe of Indians Who Write in English. You see, it makes the work in question appear Solemn and full of Gravitas.

Consider: there's The Alchemy of Desire, The Inheritance of Loss, The Quiet of the Birds, The Last Song of Dusk and, of course, The God of Small Things.

As far as one is concerned, such titles work equally well if you turn them on their heads. In fact, some work better. The Desire of Alchemy. The Loss of Inheritance. The Small Things of the Gods. Why, even: The Being of Unbearable Lightness.

Update: The next big thing when it comes to titles might well be including a '-stan'. There's already Gary Shteyngart's
and Gautam Malkani's forthcoming Londonstani. Coming soon: LaurelStan, an intimate look at the more talented half of the Laurel and Hardy duo.


  • LOL at The Small Things of the Gods - now there's a book I'd like to read!

    By Blogger Jabberwock, at 2:59 PM  

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