After much thinking, I have finally found a new name for this blog. Welcome to "Italics are mine"! As mentioned in a previous version of this post, I did like (and had grown used to) the former title of "Bearing Witness" because so much of what I write is related to history, but I had come to think that it might be more appropriate for the blog of a nonfiction writer and sounded slightly ponderous for fiction. On the other hand, I don't write on light subjects.
I initially considered combinations using "words" and "worlds" that I tested in Google Search and settled on "Wordly Worldmaking", which had the immense advantage not to have been used before but I ended up disliking the alliteration, which gave the title a lighter touch, I felt. Did I mention I don't write on light subjects?
Anyway, the perfect title occurred to me at long last: "Italics are mine," which is a reference to Nina Berberova's autobiography of the same name. To understand why I find this title perfect, you have to know that:
- I "worshipped" Berberova when I was a high school student and read all her books in the French translation published by Actes Sud.
- She wrote novels about Russian emigrants in exile, especially in Paris, and experienced oppression and exile herself, first with her companion Vladislav Khodasevich and then alone after he died in 1939, so there is some connection with the theme in my writing and hers.
- She lived in Paris for 25 years and then in the United States, specifically she spent many years in Princeton, NJ followed by a stint in Philadelphia, where she died in 1993. Hence, there are many connections between our geographical paths.
- She only became famous (at least in France) after the publisher of Actes Sud rediscovered her writings and systematically published them starting in 1985, when she was 84. This says something about having the courage to stick to one's art despite the lack of public recognition.