Babylon Nights Question #18 ~ Names

by Daniel Depp

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Babylon Nights Question #18 ~ Names

Unread postby Liz » Mon Jan 24, 2011 1:20 pm

At his book signing for Babylon Nights Daniel indicated that he named a few of his characters after well-known French personalities but that probably only French people would recognize them, and it might bother them a tad.

Can you find any names of famous French people, and who the heck are they?
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Re: Babylon Nights Question #18 ~ Names

Unread postby fireflydances » Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:01 pm

Great question. Yeah, I saw some but I've got to come back when I have time, supposed to actually BE someplace else. Really like the question.
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Re: Babylon Nights Question #18 ~ Names

Unread postby Betty Sue » Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:02 pm

Well, I found a few names but don't know how meaningful they are. :perplexed: There's a Georges Perec who's a French novelist, filmmaker and essayist. And there's a Guy Debord who's a French Marxist theorist, writer, filmmaker and hypergraphist. He was a headstrong kid and ended up an alcoholic and committed suicide. (All this is according to Wikipedia.) Will look for some more, maybe will find someone who really connects into the story.... Or maybe Daniel just threw in some famous French last names for fun.
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Re: Babylon Nights Question #18 ~ Names

Unread postby Betty Sue » Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:41 pm

Eva Schmidt was a festival rep, and there's an Eva Schmidt who's a French artist, has some pretty sensual stuff. :flirt: :blush:
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Re: Babylon Nights Question #18 ~ Names

Unread postby Betty Sue » Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:12 pm

Okay, one last desperate stab: Thierry Daniel Henry is a French soccer player, and Thierry was the Cannes driver (and bodyguard, I think). To me, Thierry is an unusual name, but if it's a popular name in France it makes this pretty meaningless. :dunce:
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Re: Babylon Nights Question #18 ~ Names

Unread postby Liz » Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:39 pm

Good job, Betty Sue!

Silly me. When I asked this question, I didn't think anyone would focus on Perec (pretty naive on my part). I thought they'd keep to the names of the people in France. So let's not go into Georges Perec. DITHOT is asking a question about him in a couple of days. Thanks for not expanding on him any more than you did, Betty Sue.

The name Thierry came up somewhere else for me and now I can't remember where. I thought that was quite a coincidence. :perplexed:

Found it--twice! The name came up in 2 tidbits when I searched on ONBC. One was from Hugo Cabret:

'Film Comment issue of January 2000, devoted to the best films of the 90s, Thierry Fremaux of the Institut Lumière stated that, "The best film of the decade is also the most underrated film of the decade: 'Casino'", while Michael Wilmington called both GoodFellas and Casino, "Great late pinnacles of noir".' (from tidbit on Martin Scorsese).

"Thierry de Bourqueney redesigned the Palme and its pedestal in hand-cut crystal." (from tidbit on Cannes Film Festival)
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Re: Babylon Nights Question #18 ~ Names

Unread postby FANtasticJD » Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:40 pm

Betty Sue wrote:Okay, one last desperate stab: Thierry Daniel Henry is a French soccer player, and Thierry was the Cannes driver (and bodyguard, I think). To me, Thierry is an unusual name, but if it's a popular name in France it makes this pretty meaningless. :dunce:

Thierry is quite a common name in France. It's also the first name of the artist who is known as Gravleur. That's the artist whose first U.S. exhibit was co-sponsored by Johnny. hmmmm!
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Re: Babylon Nights Question #18 ~ Names

Unread postby Liz » Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:43 pm

FANtasticJD wrote:
Betty Sue wrote:Okay, one last desperate stab: Thierry Daniel Henry is a French soccer player, and Thierry was the Cannes driver (and bodyguard, I think). To me, Thierry is an unusual name, but if it's a popular name in France it makes this pretty meaningless. :dunce:

Thierry is quite a common name in France. It's also the first name of the artist who is known as Gravleur. That's the artist whose first U.S. exhibit was co-sponsored by Johnny. hmmmm!

Wow! Now that is more than a coincidence. :-O Glad to see you here FAN. :wave:
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Re: Babylon Nights Question #18 ~ Names

Unread postby fireflydances » Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:52 pm

Well, I have to admit I got a sense that something a little funny was going on when I read this tiny section, Chapter 1 Part Two, of Babylon Nights:
Serge Vignon

He pushed the cat off his face and sat up in bed, thanking God, as he always did the first thing in the morning, that he was no longer married, The cat, Jane, a slim and elegant little tabby, climbed up into his lap and purred seductively.

Whoa says I, thinking of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin. Are we being funny here or am I the funny one -- Jane as the cat? I mean, Serge is just not a very common name (at least to American ears) and I happen to like his stuff, and if you like his stuff, you know about Jane. And then of course Gainsbourg is someone the Depp family knows on several fronts: Serge and daughter Charlotte. So I highlighted the two names and decided to keep my mouth shut unless (unless) someone else mentioned something about NAMES. :lol:

Then I noticed Amalie. See my last entry on Question # 12 . Once again I figured I must be somewhere out in the wastelands to be seeing these things. I relented last night 'cause it wasn't a NAME of a real person, just a character. And that was safer, less off the reservation so to speak. :-O

Guy DeBord. Oh my. Filmmaker but in my opinion chiefly philosopher, a Marxist who was instrumental in launching the 1968 Paris Uprising because of a book he wrote. Yes, you have to go read his Wiki thing and then I want to send you somewhere else so you can see Alice in Wonderland or Who Is Guy Debord? I am fascinated by DeBord. I am including two things here that I've dragged around since learning about DeBord. One, a quote "The decline of being into having and having into merely appearing." This is us, modern society -- pushed from pride at what we are to pride as we have and now, pride for what we appear to have. And second, something called a detournement which is, quote "
a previous media work, in which the newly created one has a meaning that is antagonistic or antithetical to the original. The original media work that is détourned must be somewhat familiar to the target audience, so that it can appreciate the opposition of the new message."
The Alice thingy here is an example of a detournement.
Alice in Wonderland Parts 1 and 2




Guy DeBord, several places are interesting:







I have to admit I was feeling a little outside the fence for a while on this whole "am I seeing things that are there or have I finally irredeemably lost my way on the internet." My middle name is RESEARCH. Anyway. what a relief! I'm not mad. Well, I could still be mad but the reason for the madness would be something else and NOT for being way too curious. :-O
Last edited by fireflydances on Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Babylon Nights Question #18 ~ Names

Unread postby fireflydances » Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:40 pm

So that post got WAY too long. But I actually have more to say. I am delighted by what I've found, simply fascinated by the whole notion of doing this, with NAMES, although obviously it's not something that hasn't been done and isn't being done. I don't think people are doing it in crime novels though. (However, I am always willing to shove aside what I think to accept something else.)

So sitting for a while and considering these things has made me wonder why. I've come up with two possibilities. One, sheer fun. Kind of an odd variation on Easter eggs -- plant the name, cover lightly with plot.

Perec
Spoiler! :
But also. I investigated a little more. (I mean, wouldn't I?) And found that Mr. Perec, of the Georges Perecs not the Vincent Perecs, belongs to this interesting group of writers, artists and mathematicians called the Oulipo group who is really into doing cutting edge stuff involving word patterns within their written work (called constrained writing). Perhaps Mr. Depp is fascinated by the various projects of the group? Again, it's like when I correlated Amalie with the move Amelie. It gave me another level in the book. In that particular instance, one that fleshed out exactly who Amalie might be. It added stuff that went beyond the words that were there. So with regard to the use of the name Perec, he provides some enrichment for the reader in the area of French literature, should the reader go beyond the name and track back, through the internet, and find interesting things.
DeBord is likewise fascinating but there, why, you can go off in ten different directions--politics, philosophy, critique of modern society, media, advertising. It's a giant thing to examine. Out of a name.

I like this thing with names. Either as ordinary hide the thingy or as trail markers to something bigger. And then, yes -- I started finding them in the first book. :-O
Last edited by fireflydances on Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Babylon Nights Question #18 ~ Names

Unread postby fireflydances » Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:32 pm

Oh no, :banghead: --- I just saw I was supposed to leave Perec alone. Forgive me DITHOT!! I got so involved in doing the post, and it took me so long to get the thing up with all the links working, that I didn't carefully READ the ealier posts. I am despondent. What did I ruin, :bawl:
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Re: Babylon Nights Question #18 ~ Names

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:11 am

Good catch on Serge and the others. Perec will have his own question based on the Wiki info so if we could leave that one alone it would be appreciated. :cool: The others are fair game.
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Re: Babylon Nights Question #18 ~ Names

Unread postby fireflydances » Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:02 pm

Another possibility. We have Cheryl Silberman, Anna's agent. So, due diligence at this point, the Wiki search produces the French film producer, Serge Silberman.
"Silberman's most notable collaborations were with the surrealist film director Luis Buñuel. The pair, along with screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière, who Silberman introduced to Buñuel, worked together on a number of films, starting with the 1964 film Diary of a Chambermaid. Silberman produced all of Buñuel's late films, including the Academy Award winner The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie in 1972 and the director's very last film That Obscure Object of Desire in 1977.

Silberman had founded his own production company, Greenwich Film Productions, in 1966. The company was responsible for the production of over 15 films. In 1981, Silberman produced his most financially successful film, Jean-Jacques Beineix's Diva. The film wasn't very well-received in the country of its origin, France, but became a box-office hit abroad. The money gained from the movie enabled Silberman to provide funding for Akira Kurosawa's ambitious 1985 film Ran, which at the time of its making was the most expensive Japanese film ever.
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Re: Babylon Nights Question #18 ~ Names

Unread postby nebraska » Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:40 pm

This is way over my head! Great job all of you who have answers! :cool:

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Re: Babylon Nights Question #18 ~ Names

Unread postby Liz » Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:44 pm

fireflydances wrote:We have Cheryl Silberman, Anna's agent. The money gained from the movie enabled Silberman to provide funding for Akira Kurosawa's ambitious 1985 film Ran, which at the time of its making was the most expensive Japanese film ever.

A Japanese connection! :-O
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.


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