Story first, title later -- although the title did come to me fairly early into the writing. I'd already decided to call the main character King, because it's so obviously unfitting. Then when I thought of Sauerkraut, I went to the phone book looking for an S name with the same number of syllables and the same emphasis and found "Sarcowicz". I don't even remember the surname I was using before I thought of the Pogo rhyme.
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I was a bit surprised that neither the cover nor the prefaratory matter in the book contained either a few words about the story nor anything about the author.
Ah, that's my fault. Ed did ask me for some introductory matter, but I'm still clinging to the old notion that a book ought to stand or fall solely on the basis of its contents. Not a very realistic view, I know.
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I did feel some sympathy for King, and his dilemma and the way he had to go in deeper once he'd started reminded me of Patricia Highsmith's books (hope that isn't an insult, Barbara!)
On the contrary, that's a great compliment. Thank you!
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On the other hand, a certain basic stupidity shone through, and his Decision to frame Mimi just confirmed that.
You made my day, Andrew -- that's exactly the reaction I was aiming for. You want to like the guy; but he does so many dumb and hurtful things that you just can't.
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(Oh - and I definitely can't understand why the book had to be retitled for the UK. The title is perfectly well explained in the text - and there must be lots of Americans who wouldn't know any more about Pogo than we do.)
Yes, I thought it was pretty clear. Interestingly, the German edition kept the original title -- in English.