Making Off – Hablot Knight Brown, 1851
Man, I wish my name was Hablot Knight Brown. Seriously, you have no idea what it’s like to go through life Frenchified, with a last name maybe three hundred Americans can spell correctly, let alone pronounce. Forget all the playground taunts and deliberate teenage butcheries, try listening to yourself come over a loudspeaker and not even recognize it. Imagine every letter and magazine subscription and check cut wrongly. Then there’s your professional life. Everyone wants to hire Dan Rock and promote Kurt Spank. Got too many vowels? You’re screwed. I’d be a millionaire by now if my name were Erich Von Lustbader, because that’s the kind of spine-out action that really spices up a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf.