Private: Barnes on titles

“If I had a euro for every book title that copies the formula of Flaubert’s Parrot, I’d be a rich man,” says Julian Barnes, “citing the examples of Pushkin’s Button and the recently published Audubon’s Elephant.” But when asked whether the title is “an important factor in a book’s success:

Barnes thinks not. “It is always the case that the book makes the title and not the other way round.” he says. “Although perhaps commercial fiction is not as flexible as literary fiction in that regard.”

(Via Sarah.)