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From: William Ansley <wansley@warwick.net>
Subject: Re: (urth) Re: The Barnables
Date: Mon, 26 Jun 2000 22:24:20 

At 10:40 PM -0700 6/24/00, Adam Stephanides wrote:
>Michael Andre-Driussi wrote:
>>  The full name on that page is "Evan S. Barnable": remind me, was his dad
>>  named Evan?  Do we have evidence that his dad called him Smoky, and that
>>  Smoky is what the "S" stands for; or is Smoky just his hippie handle?
>I haven't reread the whole book in a long time, but the only evidence
>bearing on these questions I can find offhand is in the section dealing
>with Smoky's childhood: Smoky "lived a lot in three different suburbs
>with the same name in three different cities, and in each his relatives
>called him by a different name--his own, his father's, and Smoky--which
>last so suited his evanescence that he kept it." ("Anonymity," I, 1, p.
>6 in Bantam TPB.)  Which seems to mean that Smoky's father was not
>called Evan (since his name was "different"), and suggests that Smoky
>was first addressed as  Smoky by his relatives and not by his father,
>though Smoky may still be his middle name.

I re-read the whole book recently and rather carefully and so feel 
fairly confident when I state that this is the only part of the book 
where the origin of the nickname "Smoky" is discussed.

However, I disagree somewhat with your interpretation of the passage 
you quote above. I think that when Crowley says "his own, his 
father's, and Smoky" he means that the first set of relatives in the 
first city called him Evan, the second set Barnable (his father's 
name in the sense of "Mr. Barnable? That's my my father's name.") and 
the third set Smoky. It may be peculiar for the relatives of a young 
boy to call him by his last name, but it is not unheard of; it is 
much less likely (to me at least) that both Smoky and his father 
would allow their relatives to call Smoky Douglas (for example) if 
that was really his father's name. It would have caused a lot of 
unnecessary confusion, if nothing else.

This still makes it seems likely that Smoky's father was not named 
Evan, but not certain.

William Ansley

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