Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Wishing my name was Big Bill France reminds me: Maud Newton kindly asked me to write something about Peter De Vries (both Ms. Newton and I are fans) for her "blog," to slyly and commercially coincide with the publication of my novel *******. I made a stab at it but it never quite happened. I became a "college professor" at about that time and a lot of other "reasons" with which I will not trouble you prevented me from accepting Ms. Newton's generous offer. But one thing I did was drag out all my old Peter De Vries novels. I even went to the library to look for some I had never read. In one of those (I can't remember which - was it called MADDER MUSIC?) I found on the first page a character named Mrs. Swirling. Mrs. Swirling! And when I opened my old copy of THE VALE OF LAUGHTER, I was reminded that one of the narrators is named Joe Sandwich. Joe Sandwich! Joe Sandwich immediately replaced Buddy Love (courtesy of Jerry Lewis, of course) at the pinnacle of my character name pyramid. Honorable mention to William Faulkner for coming up with Wallstreet Panic Snopes.