Monday, August 17, 2015

The Letlander as Title

The trouble with titles is a writer of pulp assumes they'll emerge over time. Of Arthur Bryant's many books, two books, The Years of Endurance and the Years of Victory, a history of The British against The French at the time of the French Revolution up to Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo might well indeed be titles that emerged over time. I don't think he sat down and said to himself, "OK, I'm now going to write the Years of Endurance." But he was a man with a soft spot for post first world war fascism, and really big into the idea of Great Men, one of his own hero's being William Pitt The Younger.

He had a whole thing happening with "National Character," as a Tory he seemed to know what "National Character" was, and so on reflection his titles probably came first. But Arthur Bryant is buried now, he died in Wiltshire in the January of 1985 at the age of 85, so any questions I might have for him would probably be answered by his estate and various disgruntled entails. The thing about it is a writer of pulp has a story in his mind, some of it on paper and then titles start oozing around. They don't pop up and say "Hi, I'm the title." It's more of a clearing of the throat. And the title The Letlander, sucks.

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