Friday, November 30, 2018


I'm not going to make the mistake of ever commenting in Making Light again, but this latest post intrigued me:
“Monster Mash,” “Crocodile Rock,” and “Jailhouse Rock” are all real songs about other, fictional songs that share the same titles as the real songs. Any other examples? And is there a name for this kind of song?
I remember once remarking that one of the many things that makes "The Pennsylvania Polka" an irritating song is that it seems, without stating it explicitly, to be about some other song which is also called "The Pennsylvania Polka."

Of course, this doesn't have to be irritating. It's the coy way the lyrics go about it.

This can be books too, you know. Many years ago, I published in Mythprint a list of fantasy books whose titles were shared by other, fictional books that they were about. The one I can remember offhand is The Throme of the Erril of Sherill by Patricia A. McKillip (which also falls into the category of "things I have to look up every time I write about them in order to spell them properly").

However, when I asked for more examples, what I mostly got was not books about fictional books with the same title, but books which themselves exist within the fictional universe they describe, such as The Lord of the Rings, which presents itself as Tolkien's translation of Frodo's written account of the journey (and retroactively presents The Hobbit as Bilbo's of his). That's another interesting category, but it's not the same thing.

1 comment:

  1. Are you thinking about this week's absurd accusation by a YA author I had not heard of (and certainly won't read now) -