The Name of the Sun is Yellow was the name of a dish I once ate in Alcoutim, Portugal when I was biking through Europe. The dish, originally called “O nome do Sol é amarelo”, consisted of rice, pork, potatoes and a slice of orange on the side. At first sight, there wasn’t much name-of-the-sun-is-yellow-ish about it. From all of the ingredients, only the potatoes tasted Yellow. The others tasted like their name. The Pork. The Rice. The slice of Orange. Even the glass of red wine on the side couldn’t change that. Although the dish was good — especially after having biked all morning through the barren hills of the Alentejo — the best thing about it was its name. As if Wittgenstein had cooked it up himself. I was 21, and kind of into Wittgenstein at the time, the way others might have been into Take That or Jean-Paul Sartre, and liked the name so much that when I wrote my first short story years later, I decided to name it after it. This particular story though, was about a lonely man, who was wandering aimlessly through the desert, by foot. It’s always hard to explain these things, but I think I thought the title was fitting because the man in the story was hungry, just as I had been in Portugal, and also because the sun was shining mercilessly on his head. The name of the man was John though. Not Yellow. Or Sun. This was in 2009, while I was studying art at the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam.
From there on the Name of the Sun is Yellow became various things. A collection of short stories. A tumblr blog. A password to enter secret dance clubs. A nickname for dogmatic buddhists. A code name for a poetic space quest. A film script starring a hologram of Tupac Shakur and finally a website, containing a collection of works from the last 15 years.
The Name of the Sun also exists in the form of an e-mail address where it goes by firstname.lastname@example.org and an instagram account publicly known as @thenameofthesun. Feel free to reach out, they’d be happy to hear from you.
Word around the grapevine is that the Name of the Sun is now mostly making books. Books that are called potatoes, who are happy most of the time, even if they aren’t yellow — but what’s in a name huh?