Since we’re on the subject of punning (or is that punnable?) names, I ought to inform you that the rumour moth flutters close to my candle with news of another identity-juggling writer. I refer to Mr Edmund ‘Blumin’ Ek, Norway’s literary poster-boy, author of the sporadically wonderful The Incredible Expletive Shock, the intermittently diverting Dust Jacket – and a host of gingerly droll short stories (yet to be assembled in a possible career-saving collection).
I’m not sure for how long Edmund has allowed the nickname ‘Blumin’ to hang around his neck like some cheap and tawdry chain; suffice it to say that the joke (such as it was) wore off a few years before this century was born – both for his readers and, I dare say, the writer himself. Still, it isn’t always easy to shake off a name – and one can’t exactly blame Ek for letting it linger. Like it or not, ‘Blumin Ek’ is a part of who he is.
Ah, but not anymore. It seems the time has come for a change. ‘Blumin’ is, at last, being flung on the great pile of unwanted names. ‘It demeans me,’ the writer has claimed, with a dignified frown. ‘It was – but is – not me’.
What, then, is me now? Plain old Edmund Ek? It would appear to be the natural move. Back to the source. Reconvene at the starting line. Return from whence you came – and all that. It’s the obvious path to take, no?
Evidently not. In a surprise move, Ek is planning to produce his next literary work under the title of ‘Edmund the Honest’. No ‘Ek’, no ‘Blumin’ – just ‘Edmund the Honest’. And the title of the novel? Apologia, I’m told.
If this story proves to be true (and I see no reason why it shouldn’t) we may be looking at one of the strangest identity u-turns to hit the Norwegian literary scene since feminist poet Sído Jorgnusson announced her sex change back in 1981. The real question is, however, to what extent will the change of name have any effect on the writing? For the answer to that, I fancy we will have to wait a while.