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.