29 July 2013

D is for Doppelgänger

There was a Brian Busby who lived two blocks from the house in which I grew up. Our paths never crossed – he was eight years older – but I was aware of his presence and remember the day his family moved. There was also a Brian Busby who attended our church and another who worked for the CBC. I can't tell you what the latter did, but his name did leap out as credits rolled. I came to the illogical conclusion that while "Busby" wasn't terribly common, "Brian Busby" was.

All this is to explain why I used my full name on my early writing.

Austin Clarke did something similar at the beginning in his career to set himself apart from Irish poet Austin Clarke.

Amongst Thistles and Thorns
Austin C. Clarke
Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1965
Collected Poems
Austin Clarke
London: Allen & Unwin, 1936
A New Canadian Library reissue of Amongst Thorns and Thistles aside, the last I've seen "Austin C. Clarke" used by a North American publisher was on McClelland & Stewart's 1967 first edition of The Meeting Place – thus avoiding further confusion with this man:

2001: A Space Odyssey
Arthur C. Clarke
New York: New American Library, 1968
You wouldn't think a name like Austin Clarke would cause such trouble. Thomas King, I can understand...

King's Explanatory Arithmetic
Thomas King
London: The Author [c. 1920]

Lisa Moore and William Gibson, too.

Merveilleux Voyage
Lisa Moore
Toronto: Harlequin, 1986
A Vision of Faery Land and Other Poems
William Gibson
Boston: Munroe & Co., 1853
Even John Metcalf.

Milk for Babes; or, A Catecism in Verse
John Metcalf
Northampton, MA: The Author, 1840
But Clarke seems a particularly, peculiarly problematic surname for Canadian publishers. Forget publisher Clarke Irwin, consider my friend, poet George Elliott Clarke...

Execution Poems
George Elliott Clarke
Kentville, NS: Gaspereau, 2009
... who has followed fellow Canadians George Herbert Clarke...

The Hasting Day
George Frederick Clarke
Toronto: Dent, 1930

...and George Frederick Clarke.

That would be the same George Frederick Clarke who wrote David Cameron's Adventures.

David Cameron's Adventures
George Frederick Clarke
London: Blackie & Sons, [1950]
Some British readers may prefer this edition:

David Cameron [David Cameron's Adventures]
George F. Clarke [W. Joosten, trans.]
Amsterdam: De Verkenner, 1953
Go, Dog, Go!

Addendum: Don't get me started on Robert Finch.

1 comment:

  1. I hate to admit it (well, not really)...but The Watergate Girls has me written all over it.

    Although, I fear the story isn't nearly as good as the one I am creating in my head just by looking at its cover.

    On a side note, I hope Orellana survives!!!

    Knuckles G.