brothercyst

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

My review of Engleby by Sebastian Faulks, which is probably my favorite of the books I've read for the paper so far. This whole writing-for-a-newspaper thing has reminded me on what unsteady ground you are when reading someone's published writing and regarding it as his or her "own" writing. The edited & published version of the piece is often a good bit different (or a little bit different, but in ways that affect the sentences tonally, even if they don't affect the overall sentiment) from the original. The Engleby review needed more editing than most because I turned in a piece 100 words over the limit. So a lot of sentences understandably were condensed wherever possible. They mean the same thing, but now their construction is a little crabbed and curt. The books editor at the Sun is pretty great about editing (it's not like when I wrote for the paper in college and I'd have to go to their office every night before one of my pieces ran to delete all the bizarre hipster witticisms that they'd inserted) but occasionally there are weird things, like how I wrote "titular character" in the first sentence of the review and it was eventually changed to "eponymous character." In summary, Engleby is quite good.

Also, I am made reference to in a Bobby Farouk story.

5 comments:

Richard said...

I thought the review was well-written.

"Eponymous" is a lot better than "titular," which has a different connotation. The most frequent use of the word tends to be in calling Presidents just out of office the titular head of their party. Like in title only, temporary, not really.

Nick said...

i disagree, actually...i think it's often used to refer to a character for whom a book/film is named. google "titular character"...

Alex said...

There's a great Upright Citizens Brigade sketch about a video store cleark who claims to have had the titular line in various movies.

"Oh, boy, I'm tired of this traffic. I can't wait to get Out of Africa."

Richard said...

If you Google "wierd," you'll find tons of entries too.

Ask your editor why he or she changed the word and I bet you get the same answer I did. I've never heard it used that way by anyone over 30.

Richard said...

Young people use "titular" because any word with "tit" in it makes them giggle.