Titles/band names which came from books: a quiz
I recently wrote about the sudden popularity of George Orwell’s 1984 (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*):
There were some great comments in response (reading and responding to respectful comments is one of my favorite things about doing this blog).
One of them questioningly connected the CBS reality show Big Brother with 1984.
That interested me, and shouldn’t have surprised me.
It’s one of the reasons I place no statute of limitations on spoilers. 🙂 I am as careful about spoiling The Wizard of Oz or Citizen Kane as I am about a movie in theatres now. People enter pop culture awareness all the time: children growing up, people coming from different cultures, people who have just gotten into reading (as one example).
It’s quite possible that the majority of people in America today first encountered the phrase “Big Brother” meaning a…surveilling authority through the TV show, not through the book. I used to do Shakespeare on stage, and I remember seeing something that suggested more people watch a single episode of the most popular sitcom of the day than have seen all of Shakespeare’s plays live on stage…combined through history.
If a creator chooses to use a phrase from a book as a title, I don’t think they generally intend to usurp the popular association. I think they tend to use it ironically, or to have their readers and potential readers be informed by the allusion.
I named my own book of quotations
after a quotation from a movie (The Thing). I didn’t think most people would make the connection right away, but that some people would.
Given that this is the case, that much of an audience may encounter the quotation before the source, I thought it would be fun to do a little quiz. 🙂
In each of these cases, I knew the original source before it was used as a title for another work. For that reason, I think I assumed that other readers did, too…but that was certainly presumptuous on my part.
I’ll give you ten titles (and I’ve decided to include band names) taken from books (that could include things like fairy tales, possibly…written word works might be the best description. They won’t have originated in visual media, like TV and movies). See how many of the original sources you know! Feel free to make your guesses in comments to this post if you’d like others to see it. No fair looking it up before you do so, though: let others try to guess using just their own minds. 😉
Tell you what I’ll do: if you make a comment guessing at at least one of these, and we’ll have to use the honor system that you didn’t research them, I’ll put you in a pool to get a free e-book gift of The Mind Boggles (if you tell me you might want one in the post…be aware that I’ll need to send it to the e-mail address listed privately when you post. My readers don’t see your e-mail address, but I do). I’m going to figure right now on gifting up to five copies, but might flex that depending on how many “players” there are. Note also that you’d have to be in a place where you can get a gift from the USA through Amazon.com.
I’m not going to base it on how many you get right, because again, it would be easy to look them up. If I get more than five qualifying requests, I’ll randomize (unless I decide to give more).
Your comment must be made before I publish the answers…probably in a few days.
Okay, here we go!
- Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
- Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
- Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein
- The Dogs of War by Frederick Forsyth
- The Doors (the name of the band…and the origin of the name of the book on which the band name was based)
- The band Steppenwolf
- The band Veruca Salt
- As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
- For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
How many of these do you know? Ready, set, and then let’s go! 😉
Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!
All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!
* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help!
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.