Saturday, February 21, 2009

What's In A Name?

I was thrilled to discover my cousin Sam's jazz CD Howeird was given 4/5 stars in the Guardian. I rushed down to the paper shop and showed the bloke in there and he gave me the paper for free. Then I noticed how they spelt his name. Sam Crockett. Maybe you didn't notice the frankly GLARING error. Sam Crockett? Who he? It's Crockatt people, A T T.

I phoned a mate who I'd given the CD to recently and he laughed.

"The trouble you face with your name is that American bloke got there first and he's more famous than you."

"Eh? What American bloke?"

"Davy man..."

All my life that raccoon skinning, bear shooting American folk "hero" has been a thorn in my side. I have a large family. There are a lot of Crockatts about and we travel. There are Crockatts all over the world. And we're going to breed and breed and breed and keep on producing brilliant jazz cds and brilliant bookshops and all sorts of other brilliant stuff and we're not going to stop until everyone knows how to spell the name ok...

(Maybe I've been watching too many episodes of the Wire)

Incidentally I'm still reading Roberto Bolano's 2666. I've nearly finished. But I'm taking it slow, savouring every morsel. One of the main characters is a writer who names himself Benno von Archimboldi. When he first meets the man who becomes his publisher the following exchange takes place - it's too long to quote in full but it's very funny and starts like this...

"What's your real name? Because it can't be the name you've given me, of course."

"That's my name," answered Archimboldi.

"Do you think the years I spent in England or the years in general have made me stupid? No one has a name like that. Benno von Archimboldi. To be called Benno, in the first place, is suspicious."

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