Find out the fascinating stories behind more than 1,500 titles of films, novels, plays, paintings, and musical compositions. Some are humorous or ironic, others risqué or purposely baffling. Attractive feature-boxes focus on a range of specialties and oddities, from monosyllabic titles to punning ones.
In selecting the novels, plays, paintings, and musical works whose titles he explains here, Crofton (A Dictionary of Art Quotations) acknowledges that keeping the volume to a manageable length made it impossible to include all the works he would have liked to cover. As he notes, the book is "not intended as a comprehensive cultural companion, but as an exploration of byways, oddities and serendipities." Entries run from D.H. Lawrence's Aaron's Rod through Edward Albee's Zoo Story and tell us the story behind each title. The section on T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land, for example, indicates that the title is taken from Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur and associated with the quest for the Holy Grail and cites works whose titles derive from Eliot's poem. The resource also features titles in such quirky categories as body parts, "the oddest title of the year award," St. Cecelia, and Salome. One index covers the authors, composers, and artists whose works are included, while the other cross-references sources from which titles explained in the book are taken. This informative and entertaining work is recommended for both public and academic libraries.-Denise J. Stankovics, Rockville P.L., Vernon, CT Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.