Saturday, October 17, 2020

Something About Triple-Barreled Titles

The First, the Second, and the Third.


I re-discovered a comment from Brad Strickland originally posted long ago to the CompleatBellairs forum about not being satisfied with the title, The Hand of the Necromancer:
"I think necromancer is too much of a mouthful now. If I had the chance of doing it again, I might call it something like The Museum, the Hand, and the Wizard or some such."
Personally I always thought necromancer was a fine word. It has a specific meaning and is one antiquarians might use outside mainstream conversation. In this regard it’s like opera, another perfectly valid word though possibly underused by the audience the book is marketed toward.

It’s this museum, hand, and wizard jazz catching my eye. A few books in the Bellairs Corpus have this style: The Letter, the Witch, and the Ring (oft confused by some with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe) and The Mummy, the Will, and the Crypt were two Bellairs wrote, and The Bell, the Book, and the Spellbinder and The Whistle, the Grave, and the Ghost were two Strickland contributed.

What if all titles had this style? The House, the Clock, and the Wizard doesn’t have the same ring as simply calling attention to The House with a Clock in its Walls. The Trolley, the Tower, and the Threat sound a bit hokey; better stick to The Trolley to Yesterday. Eh. How would you triple-barrel re-title other Bellairs Corpus books?

2 comments:

Randy said...

This evening I picked up a comic book to read, The Spectre #4, originally published in the early 2000s. On the cover it says "DOOM of the NAMELESS LAND!". While it's not a triple-barreled title, it did immediately make me think of John Bellairs!

broteus mitchell said...

Far out - very much a Bellairs-sounding title.

I dug out something about comics recently ... think I'll share on the blog soon.

-bm