Rising Cliche
December 8, 2008 3:02 PM   Subscribe

Where did the cliche of ending titles with "Rising" come from?

Tom Clancy's Red Storm Rising. Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal Rising. A book about California statehood called Bear Flag Rising. The Bruce Willis actioner Mercury Rising. Robert Anton Wilson's Prometheus Rising. Tim LaHaye's Babylon Rising. David Brin's Startide Rising.

When did people start using this overdramatic naming convention, and where did it come from? Is it just some astrological thing?
posted by johngoren to Media & Arts (14 answers total)
 
IMDB reports some 165 titles with 'Rising' in the name. A quick scan shows that Lucifer Rising (1972) is perhaps the oldest with 'rising' at the end of the title.

You are correct that there has been a flurry of titles using this format in the past 25 years. I have no explanation. Sounds like a marketing exec overkill to me.
posted by trinity8-director at 3:22 PM on December 8, 2008


I blame CCR.
posted by fleacircus at 3:22 PM on December 8, 2008 [4 favorites]


It was an astrological thing when Kenneth Anger used it for Lucifer Rising, wasn't it?
posted by box at 3:30 PM on December 8, 2008


I imagine it is just largely an astrological term (dealing with objects in space whose influence was on the upswing) which was popular in the late 1960's and just started to get attached to non-astrological subjects . . . plus it has a kind of ominous or optimistic flavor (depending on what's "rising") - the kind that's rooted in a beyond-our-control sort of religious/mythical mysticism, aside from just the normal astrological stuff. Think of Lazarus rising, or the Pheonix rising from ashes or Christ rising from the grave. (This makes me think of the common Romanian greeting exchange during Easter - "Christ has risen," to which ones replies, "Yes truly he is risen.")

It's hard to cram much dramatic tension and foreboding into a two- or three-word title, so "rising" is handy, if overused.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 3:45 PM on December 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Mr. Mojo Risin" from "L. A. Woman" is another early one...
posted by mundy at 3:47 PM on December 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Scorpio Rising, 1964, also by Kenneth Anger. Definitely an astrological reference.
posted by Grangousier at 4:02 PM on December 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


Although Mercury Rising is a reference to a thermometer (I thought it might be a barometer, but when there's a storm brewing the mercury falls. I think Mercury Falling is a better title, but what do I know).
posted by Grangousier at 4:06 PM on December 8, 2008


My guess is that 'Rising' is just more poetic and artsy then most of the alternatives. Except in astrological/mythological/thermometer references, where it is more literal.

I doubt it really "came from" anywhere. It's just good English.
posted by JuiceBoxHero at 5:07 PM on December 8, 2008


I have always thought that the conventional use of the term started with mythology, specifically Phoenix Rising from the Ashes.

I doubt it really "came from" anywhere. It's just good English.

I suspect JuiceBoxHero might be onto something.
posted by ericb at 5:15 PM on December 8, 2008


A lot of things/stuff are "rising."
posted by ericb at 5:17 PM on December 8, 2008


It's just good English.

I don't have a historical background on this issue, but it really isn't good anything. It's cliche and people use it as a substitute for originality.

posted by Solon and Thanks at 5:28 PM on December 8, 2008


it really isn't good anything. It's cliche and people use it as a substitute for originality.

Don't cliches usually arise from something original? Perhaps even something good?
posted by purpletangerine at 6:44 PM on December 8, 2008


Mercury Rising is an astronomical reference as well as thermometer(ical)
posted by purpletangerine at 6:47 PM on December 8, 2008


Don't cliches usually arise from something original? Perhaps even something good?

Yes, one person was original, good, and creative. But then everyone else copied that person and it became cliche and unoriginal.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 10:21 PM on December 8, 2008


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