the writer is a lonely hunter

writing by Gail Aldwin and other authors

Clever Titles

on December 20, 2011

I love clever titles but because  copyright law means titles cannot be protected (except in the case of sequels, like Harry Potter) it can be confusing!   Take Lost in Translation which is the title of a Hollywood film and a delightful book by Eva Hoffman

Eva’s family survive the Holocaust by hiding in the Ukraine. When she’s 13, the family leave Cracow and emigrate to Canada where Eva learns about the importance of language and identity.  The autobiography is subtitled: A life in a new language, and one of my favourite references is where Eva describes words in English, the new language she learns, as being like pearls on her tongue. 

Of course there are similarities between the  film and the book, for example, the sense of isolation when living in a a new country. However, the film is set in Tokyo and follows the development of a relationship between the two main characters (played by Bill Murphy and Scarlett Johansson) making the film part comedy, part romance. 

Another clever title I like is Foreign Bodies with novels variously written by Amanda Craig, Cynthia Ozick and Candy Neubert (with another list of authors using the title Foreign Body).  My favourite title is I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings which is the  first volume of Maya Angelou‘s autobiography.  A clever title that is unlikely to be copied.

If you’re interested in entering a competition to work the name of a fruit into a spoof film title, please see Circalit to enter by Twitter.  Good luck!

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