Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I borrowed my pseudonym, “Caves,” from my maternal grandmother’s maiden name, which, we think, derived in France. Marie-Jeanette “Jennie” Caves was descended from the Huguenots—an ostracized group of political activists and Calvinists in France who sought to unite with protestant Switzerland. I was stirred by the ancestry of this name which suggested both revolution and darkness. I’m not sure of its origin and meaning: it may be related to Cavett, Cabot, something worn on the head (“cap-“), or a deformation of the head: baldness. Or it might have come from Latin cavus, “hollow,” hence “concave,” curved like the inner surface of a sphere. But in its present form, “caves,” it suggested to me places of hiding: that which is bent inward, reflective of one’s secrets, suggestive of the occult, perfect for the darker imaginings that have always colored my writing, my scholarship, my fiction, my fantasies.
A well-polished spoon gives you two views of yourself: one that is convex (you're all nose) and another that is concave (you are all ears). I write fiction and poetry under the nom de plume of "Sally Caves" and "Hypatia Pickens," both of whom distort and reflect their creator noseward or earward, broadly or narrowly. Let's see what gets put here.