Monday, November 4, 2013

A Color by any other Title

Awhile back  I called the color ORANGE "clockwork," referring to Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange. Although I haven't read this novel myself (and having learned something of the themes in it, it might be a bit too graphic for my taste), it just seemed like the natural thing to do. I love books so much, you see, and am so often surrounded by them, that even their titles enter into my everyday jargon in unexpected ways.

For instance, why call colors by their boring names when you can use literary epithets instead? Your conversation is bound to be more interesting:

ME: I have one with clockwork fur and wallpaper eyes, and another cat with picture-of-dorian fur and eggs-and-ham eyes.  I also have a dog with like-me and fang fur and marbled eyes of island-of-the-dolphins and man-in-the-suit. 


ME: Oh, you don't get the literary references to popular book titles?  Well allow me to explain the plots of each of them in agonizing detail....
This language not only makes you feel witty and enigmatic because people don't know what you're talking about, but it also provides prime opportunities for you to talk about some of the most awesome things ever: books.

Below is my own little list of colors which will comprise this new argot, which ironically is a reference to A Clockwork Orange:

Clockwork (A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess)

Badge of Courage (The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane)

Eggs and Ham (Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss)

Picture of Dorian (The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde)

Fang (White Fang by Jack London)

Island of the Dolphins (The Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell)

Like Me (Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin)

Man in the Suit (The Man in the Brown Suit by Agatha Christie)

Lilly's Plastic Purse (Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes)

Wallpaper (The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman)

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