Tuesday, December 6, 2016

#341 / A Catchy Title

I have just started grading the senior "Capstone Thesis" submissions from students in my Fall Quarter UCSC course, LGST 196. The course is titled, "Privacy, Technology, And Freedom," and successfully completing the course is a requirement for any UCSC student who wants to graduate with a major in Legal Studies. 

I provide a memo with some advice for my students on "What Makes A Good Thesis," and the very first suggestion is to  come up with a "Title That Will Interest The Reader." I further explain this concept as follows: "The title should let the reader know the topic AND it should be 'catchy,' in the sense that the title should catch the reader's attention, and make the reader interested...." If you want to see the rest of my suggestions, just click the link above. 

My own attention was certainly caught by the title of Chris Kraus' 1997 book (picture of cover above). Actually, it was a review in The New Yorker that first drew my attention to this book, which The New Yorker describes in very favorable terms:

Chris’s intimate, discursive voice, her range of literary and artistic references, and her mordant self-criticism have put “I Love Dick” within the central current of contemporary fiction.

I Love Dick is a catchy title, alright. At least that is my view. While the title may be just a bit misleading (but not that misleading, let me say), Kraus' title does attract readers to what is a kind of "epistolary novel," and a novel which, according to The New Yorker, is not really "fiction," but is largely filled  with real letters, describing real events.

I was thinking of citing this book to my students as an example of how to write a "Catchy Title," but then I thought again, since I have very much enjoyed the chance to talk with students about "Privacy, Technology, And Freedom," and I'd like to be able to teach the course again in the future.

However, if you think you might like the book, attracted by its catchy title, you could read that New Yorker review. Or, check out the book itself. I checked it out, and I did like it!

Chris Kraus

Image Credits:
(1) - https://www.amazon.com/I-Love-Dick-Chris-Kraus/dp/1781256470
(2) - http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/11/21/chris-kraus-female-antihero

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment!