Sayings Inside Wilfair


The Wilfair series takes place in a heightened now, or an alternate now, a place and time similar to our own but slightly stranger. Part of creating that feel, and the light magic realism of the world, is not including tried-and-true sayings, terms, or aphorisms that have real-world ties to specific properties or ideas.

I'm 100% sure some are in there, absolutely, but if come across one I generally try to think of a new way to say it.

So where I get stumped is when I really want use a term like "15 minutes," as in 15 minutes of fame, the Andy Warholism. Or "Catch-22," which author Joseph Heller coined.

But when I read something like that, somewhere else, my own brain tends to jump outside the story to "Catch-22" -- one of my favorite books -- or to Andy Warhol or art, and I slide out of whatever book I'm enjoying, momentarily.

And while Wilfair isn't especially Catch-22-y, as in the meaning of the term, it is built on the idea that conflicting concepts can live side-by-side. So, yeah. I've wanted to go to it a few times.

(Oh, and regarding "Catch-22": One could argue that my love of unusual character names stems from my fascination with Major Major Major Major, possibly the best-named character of all time.)

One chestnut in "Fairwil" that I'm sticking with, though? Monty Overbove says "fine kettle of fish" at one point. I personally associate this with Laurel and Hardy, because I was born 150 years ago, but the internet tells me the saying waaaay predates the silent film duo.

So I'm keeping it. The joke Monty makes following it is one I'm rather sweet on, and "fine kettle of fish" is his set-up. Also, would our budding cineaste use a phrase associated with a famous film pair? He would.

Mostly I hate messing with Monty's jokes. I've mentioned that he seems the most "outside the book world" to me, so he tends to have his way on matters of whether what he says stays or not. It almost always does.

2 comments:

Caitlin #2 said...

Of course you love Catch-22. OF COURSE. (I also love Catch-22, of course!) If we're talking funny names from that novel, don't forget about Washington Irving and Irving Washington. "I yearn for you tragically!" And of course Scheisskopf, haha.

"Fine kettle of fish" sounds very Monty-esque to me. But now I want to know what the punchline to the joke is :D

Wilfair Book said...

Oh man. Caitlin #2, we'll have to do a "Catch-22" meet-up one day!

 
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