Just For the Record

Back when Sam Tongue’s and my edited volume from Glasgow-associated biblical interpreters came out, I was browsing about for last-minute fact checks and so on. It occurred to me to check on my claim, initially made in 2005 at the Ekklesia Project annual Gathering, to a trademark/copyright/prior art for the portmanteau ‘Sacramerica’. At the time, Google reported no other sources; when I rewrote the essay, there other results were nugatory (or references to my Ekklesia talk, transcribed here and reported elsewhere).

On that fateful morning, though, I discovered that there was another iteration of Sacramerica forthcoming, and that it was virtually guaranteed to have a higher media profile than anything I have ever done or am likely to do. Italian novelist and film director Angelo Cannavacciuolo is planning a novel to bear the title Sacramerica, and apparently there are cinematic possibilities (as would seem obvious, since the novel concerns California). Dr Gregory Pell of the Italian Department in Hofstra University is preparing the English translation.

So with a bit of curiosity, a bit of gentle innovation-preservation, I wrote Dr Pell a couple of years ago to check in and say, ‘Oh, by the way…’. A pleasant academic exchange followed, and in short order Sig. Cannavacciulo himself wrote me (or, to be more precise, ‘his Anglophone wife wrote me’) to assure me that he thought up ‘Sacramerica’ independently (inspired by Sacramento, one of the locales of the novel). The book apparently still awaits publication, but when it reaches press I have been promised copies in Italian and English, with perhaps even a nod of acknowledgement on an obscure page that no one will read.

In the meantime, Avanti, Sacramerica! (The novel, that is, not the signifying practice of deified nationalism.)

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