Tuesday January 6th 2015
One of the problems with
four hundred thousand odd words, all of them strung
together in sentences so as to create a ripping yarn is
what I'll call the "ennui of names." A name might at one
moment sum the world. Next day it's like a barking dog.
But a writer of pulp is stuck with it. He goes to his
bed deeply depressed, where long into the night he plots
the death of a character, simply because the name has
become jarring. And quite wrong of me to even hint at
who at this moment I'd like to see slip on a banana skin
and fall into an icy River Thames where his drowning
will be inevitable.
I remember years
ago reading a series of stories where my fellow writer of
pulp had given up any kind of serious contemplation of names
and his hero was B, I think. Other characters also just had
initials. I thought it brilliantly confusing at the time.
And too I remember reading his explanation for just using
initials, instead of carefully thought out names. His answer
was essential some BS about universality and the role of
imagination in the whole and how actual names where a
tyrannical imposition on the flow of his wonderful mind. He
was a professional of course.