Titles: Strange, but True

King Canute and Dr. Feelgood

Drawing from Fifty Famous Stories Retold, by James Baldwin
Photo by Tim Ellis — Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved

Creating art is hard. Finding an audience can be harder. So, you want to choose the perfect title.

Learn from a few great writers. To attract an audience’s attention you can go for the brazenly bizarre — try Jest, Satire, Irony and Deeper Significance from Dietrich Grabbe; or, the predictive — no surprises in Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller; or, the descriptive — hit the nail on the head with The Misanthrope from Molière; or, combine brazenly bizarre, predictive, and descriptive — how could anyone resist Oh, Daddy, Poor Daddy, Mamma’s Hung You in the Closet and I’m Feelin’ So Sad by Arthur Kopit.

As posted on our Arts News Feed this week, The Bookseller hosts the voting for The Diagram Prize, which is awarded annually to the oddest book title of the year.

You have until the end of the month to vote for the following nominees:

  • I Was Tortured by the Pygmy Love Queen, by Jasper McCutcheon;
  • How to Write a How to Write Book, by Brian Paddock;
  • Are Women Human? And Other International Dialogues, by Catharine A. MacKinnon;
  • Cheese Problems Solved, edited by P. L. H. McSweeney;
  • People Who Mattered in Southend and Beyond: From King Canute to Doctor Feelgood, by Dee Gordon;

and the title currently in the lead,

  • If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start With Your Legs, by Big Boom.

Tough choice, don’t you think?

For further inspiration, some of our favorite winners from years past include: Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice; Oral Sadism and the Vegetarian Personality; How to Avoid Huge Ships; and, because KadmusArts is always on the lookout for Green initiatives and promoting great art, How to Shit in the Woods: An Environmentally Sound Approach to a Lost Art.

How could one resist? If the title is so imaginative, aren’t you curious about the art?

This year’s winner will be announced on March 28.

- Bill Reichblum

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2 Responses to “Titles: Strange, but True”

  1. Tim Ellis
    September 4th, 2008 04:38

    Some interesting titles there - I think I can see why you chose to illustrate Canute to Dr Feelgood - though “I Was Tortured by the Pygmy Love Queen” might get you more random hits from search engines!

  2. bill
    September 4th, 2008 05:33

    Maybe that should be the inspiration for the KadmusArts Challenge: Can You Draw a Festival?



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