Monday, August 08, 2011

"Nom de Plume"

"The obvious trouble with pen names … even with the most inspired and impressive ones, was that they somehow failed to convey truly the full extent of one's literary genius," said Romain Gary, the great French filmmaker and novelist, among other things.. Here Gary, a.k.a. Émile Ajar, was referring to his trouble picking out a pseudonym, one that he felt suited him well enough, considering the fame he expected.

Literary genius, secret lives, alter egos, publishing qualms, society's attitudes and more are explored by Carmela Ciuraru as impetus and inspiration for pseudonyms in her new book, "Nom de Plume: A (Secret) History of Pseudonyms."

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