Friday, April 03, 2009

Inspector Lewis would never believe me

"I carry hell about me; all my blood
Is fired in swift revenge."

It's a funny thing, how much importance gets attached to quotes and favourite books on TV. Someone quotes from Sophocles, and everyone assumes he's in love with his mother. It just so happens that one of my favourite plays is John Ford's 'Tis Pity She's A Whore, but of course the theme of that is incest between siblings. Were I a suspect in an episode of Lewis, therefore, it would be assumed that I'm in love with my brother. And I'm really not.

The reason I love the play is the beauty of the language, the absolute poetry that's less flowery than Shakespeare, but just as evocative. The quote above is from Soranzo, when he discovers that his new wife, Annabella, is already pregnant by someone else--the someone else being her brother, Giovanni. That's weird and icky, but if they weren't related, their courtship would be wonderfully romantic. Giovanni tells Annabella: "I envy not the mightiest man alive, But hold myself in being king of thee More great than were I king of all the world." That's gorgeous; but unlikely to be used in any wedding speeches because of the connotations.

Still, Mr Ford has inspired a brilliant ship's name. I'm halfway through the second Empire Book, which now has the title Burning Desires, and of course my pirate merman hero needs a ship--and that ship needs a name. (The last ship I named in a book ended up being called Target. The hero thought this was funny). From Soranzo's line, I got my ship name. The Swift Revenge. Pretty good, eh?


  1. Oh, I LIKE it!

    "Burning Desires" and The Swift Revenge. Fabulous.

    Um, as long as we're not talking about a pyromaniac and a fire-hose.

  2. No. Well, a dragon. Does that count?

  3. That's okay. Dragons are cool. I have them hanging from my ceiling.

  4. You might want to set up some fire extinguishers, though.

  5. I can't do that! They might think I don't trust them!

  6. Awesome ship names.

    I love using quotes from poems and plays to open stories, but it does often raise questions. I used a quote from one of Baudelaire's poems to open a short story and uni and then spent a whole session explaining to my critique group that the story had nothing to do with incest.