Our Man in Bangkok, Tim Footman, has brought us a tantalizing literary game in a post about Christopher Hitchens’s memories of a dinner party he attended with Salman Rushdie where somebody was complaining about the epic badness of the novels of Robert Ludlum, AND their titles. Can’t you just hear the background tinkle of glasses, forks against china and hushed side conversations as “somebody” amid these English lit Brahmins starts the America-bashing?
Well, it brought us this game, so all is forgiven.
Hitch explains that it’s the pretentiousness of the titles that so offends—-The Bourne Supremacy, The Aquitaine Progression, The Ludlum Impersonation—-when another of the elite wondered aloud what a Shakespeare play might be called in Ludlum speak.
Whereupon, Rushdie was able to rename Hamlet and Macbeth The Elsinor Vacillation and The Dunsinane Implication in two shakes. Followed by The Kerchief Implication (my favorite) and The Rialto Sanction.
Tim took on the tacit challenge of his countrymen:
The Mongoloid Truncation (Coleridge’s Kubla Khan)
The Dorset Mishap (Any of Thomas Hardy’s novels)
The Eden Project (Paradise Lost)
I played along with
The Marchmain Debacle
The San Fermin Triangle
The Fleming Fortitude
Hope you can surmise these classics. Maybe offer one or two of your own. There’s more Ludlamese over at Tim’s.