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  • mistermuse 6:42 am on January 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , C. S. Forester, , , , George Orwel, , , , , Lewis Carol, noms de plume, , Rufus T. Firefly, , , ,   


    Rufus T. Firefly: And now, members of the Cabinet — we’ll take up old business.
    Mistermuse: I wish to discuss my previous post, GNOME DE PLUME.
    Firefly: Sit down. That’s new business. No old business? Very well — then we’ll take up new business.
    Mistermuse: Now, about GNOME DE PLUME.
    Firefly: Too late. That’s old business already. Sit down.


    Old business or not, I owe it to my royal leaders — I mean my loyal readers — to give them the correct answers to the quiz in my last post, and I’m no longer going to leave them (my loyal readers) hanging, which is too good for ’em  anyway (my royal leaders, that is) . Besides, I have no new business to write about, so it’s either this or nothing (and no, you don’t get to choose). So sit back, have a nice bowl of hot Duck Soup, and enjoy seeing how many of the following noms de plume you didn’t get right, you ignorant Sylvanians!

    ARTEMUS WARD / Charles Farrar Browne
    GEORGE SAND / Aurore Dupin
    GEORGE ELIOT / Mary Anne Evans
    LEWIS CARROLL / Charles Dodgson
    SYLVIA PLATH / Victoria Lucas

    GEORGE ORWELL / Eric Blair
    ISAK DINESEN / Karen Blixen
    ANATOLE FRANCE / Jacques Anatole Thibault
    SIDNEY SHELDON / Sidney Schechtel
    O. HENRY / William Sydney Porter

    ANNE RICE / Howard Allen Frances O’Brien
    AYN RAND / Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum
    C. S. FORESTER / Cecil Smith
    VOLTAIRE / Francois Marie Arouet
    DANIEL DEFOE / Daniel Foe

    Hail, hail Fredonia!

  • mistermuse 12:01 am on January 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , C. S. Forester, , , , Goerge Orwell, , Lewis Carroll, , nom de plume, , , pen names, pseudonyms, , , , Tom Thumb, Voltaine   


    Mistermuse, having come up just a tad short of becoming a world-famous author himself, thought his real self and I would write a post about pen names of other reputed writers, including a quiz about how many real names of pseudonymous authors you can identify, such as the one everyone knows: Mark Twain / Samuel Clemens.

    But in the course of doing a little research, we came across the Nom de Pun of a legendary wee person of English folklore, Tom Thumb, who (though not an author) is the subject of many an author’s works, starting with The History of Tom Thumb, first published in 1621. Two-plus centuries later, showman P. T. Barnum took advantage of that famous character’s name by featuring “General Tom Thumb” (dwarf Charles Sherwood Stratton) as his star attraction …. which led us further down the sidetrack of character names of famous dwarfs, such as “Tattoo” (Herve Villechaize) of Fantasy Island fame and “Mini-Me” (Verne Troyer) in The Spy Who Shagged Me.” But enough about Mini-Me (and Tattoo and Tom Thumb), and back to the business at hand: pen names of renowned writers.

    Following the famous nom de plume of each author (in caps below) is the real name of another author on the list. How many of these mismatched names can you re-match correctly?

    ARTEMUS WARD / Eric Blair
    GEORGE SAND / Charles Dodgson
    GEORGE ELIOT / Aurore Dupin
    LEWIS CARROLL / Victoria Lucas
    SYLVIA PLATH / Karen Blixen

    GEORGE ORWELL / Cecil Smith
    ISAK DINESEN / Mary Anne Evans
    ANATOLE FRANCE / Francois Marie Arouet
    SIDNEY SHELDON / Daniel Foe
    O. HENRY / Charles Farrar Browne

    ANNE RICE / Sidney Schechtel
    AYN RAND / Howard Allen Frances O’Brien
    C. S. FORESTER / William Sydney Porter
    VOLTAIRE/ Jacque Anatole Thibault
    DANIEL DEFOE / Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum

    But what about the real name of mistermuse, you ask. Are you ready for the big announcement?


    Sorry for the typo — I meant “pig announcement.”

    • Don Frankel 9:12 am on January 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      We can see why people born Howard might want to change their name. Especially when they are are a girl. Of course back int he day of George Elliot and Sand women couldn’t publish. Also if you’ve been in prison, I guess you’d rather be O’Henry then your real name. But then so much of writing is an ability to assume other identities even if you use your real name.


    • mistermuse 10:34 am on January 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      For those who couldn’t match the real name Don referred to (Howard Allen Francis O’Brien) with the right pen name, it’s Anne Rice (I confess I didn’t know it myself, as I’m not a Gothic fiction fan and haven’t read any of her books). It certainly makes one wonder why her parents would name their baby girl “Howard” – it sounds like they were hoping for a boy and refused to change the name they’d pre-chosen. In any case, if she lived back in the day of female authors George Eliot and George Sand, she wouldn’t have needed a pen name – Howard Allen O’Brien would’ve worked just fine.

      As for O. Henry (William Sydney Porter), Don, many readers know about his imprisonment, but there are also interesting stories about how he came upon his pen name. One has it that he called his girlfriend’s cat “Oh, Henry” because the cat would respond to no other greeting, but Porter spun a number of such tales, so who knows?

      Th-th-th-th-that’s all, folks!


    • Ricardo 1:32 pm on January 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I always thought O. Henry was the way that author’s sex partners addressed him. Are we to take it that your given name is Leon Schlesinger, Sr. Muse?


      • mistermuse 2:37 pm on January 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Re O. Henry, a very penetrating deduction. Taking it up a logical notch, Ricard-O, God must have the spiritual equivalent of sex partners (just sayin’). It might help explain a lot of stuff that goes on in the universe (starting with the Big Bang Theory).

        As for my given name, it so happens that “Leon” is part of it, but unlike Looney Tunes producer Schlesinger, I’m still living….or should I say, animated.


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