Thursday, May 10, 2007

What's in a name, part 3

The protagonist in Paul Auster's novel Timbuktu is a dog called Mr Bones.

Anthropomorphising an animal by giving it a Christian name and a surname is a near-unbeatable comic device. Mr Bones, who describes events in a perceptive and detailed way, comes across as discerning and wise, and it's in no small part due to his name.

Some other examples of animals named in this way from contemporary literature: the Bengal tiger in Yann Martel's Life of Pi, which goes by the name Richard Parker, the eponymous baboon in Cornelius Medvei's Mr Thundermug, and the guide dog in Jonathan Safran Foer's Everything is Illuminated, which is called Sammy Davis Junior, Junior.

No comments: