Literary heroes are celebrated and rightly so, but shouldn’t they have as much postive fanfare when they are alive? When we list literary greats, many had conflict and dire circumstances in their lives. Would optimistic recognition have helped them or made their particular troubles worse? Some obviously did become the target of media frenzies in modern times but what of earlier authors? Just to take one female author – Charlotte Bronte. She had to write under a man’s name in order to be published and ‘recognized’. In this digital age recognition, whether good or bad is immediate but for these authors they never knew their fame. http://www.policymic.com/articles/62651/9-incredible-writers-who-only-became-famous-after-death
On the subject of fame I cannot omit this quote, which in itself is famous!
In the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes. ANDY WARHOL
Fame or infamy, either one is preferable to being forgotten. CHRISTOPHER PAOLINI And now for your fun prompt – You are a sudden sensation and the media are camped outside your home. How do you handle it?
Pseudonym – definition: a fictitious name used by a writer to conceal his or her identity : a pen name
What do you think? Is this a good idea or not? My own pen name is actually a combination of my given names so not really a pseudonym in the true sense of the word. Many ‘famous’ authors have used pen names, some to experiment with another genre or to avoid a misconception by their readers. Using initials can ‘hide’ the true gender of a writer – well for a time anyway. But is it really a practice required in this day and age?
Let’s look at Stephen King (yes I know – but he’s my hero!) King used the pen name Richard Bachman for seven short novels in the late 1970’s, early 1980’s. There are two trains of thought about why he did this. 1) He wanted to find out if he could replicate his success to ensure it was not an accident or 2) the publishing standards only allowed a single book per year. As a prolific writer the restriction must have been very frustrating. (If only we could be so lucky)
English: Portrait of Charlotte Bronte by J. H. Thompson Русский: Портрет Шарлотты Бронте работы Дж. Х. Томпсона (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A pseudonym was also used to hide gender when society dictated a woman’s role, such as Charlotte Bronte, writing under Currer Bell while Emily Bronte used Ellis Bell. Another surprise pen name is George Orwell, whose Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm caused such a sensation in the 1940’s. He was actually named Eric Arthur Blair. More recently Joanne Rowling used J.K. Rowling in an attempt to attract boy readers. It was thought if they perceived the author to be male they would be more likely to read the books about the young wizard.Is this really the case? Do you have a pen name? What were your reasons for using one?