Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesday Trivia

Richard Lederer, in Literary Trivia, notes that some authors were born with less than marketable names. Who do we know these authors as?

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was fascinated with words, logic and little girls. Out of these interests he fashioned a wonderland of characters - Humpty Dumptys, Jabberwocks, Mad Hatters, and White Rabbits.

Jozef Korzeniowski was born in Poland and grew up speaking no English until he was seventeen, yet he became one of the greatest stylists to use the English Language. A sailor as a youth, Korzeniowski is most famous for his stories and novels of the sea.

An unpublished Atlanta writer named Peggy Marsh submitted an incomplete manuscript that filled a large suitcase. The title of the novel was to be "Tomorrow is Another Day," and its heroine was to be called Pansy. After a great number of changes, including the title and name of the heroine, the book was published in 1936 and quickly became an all-time bestseller, inspiring a blockbuster movie, and fifty years after that, a blockbuster sequel.

Here are the answers to last week's trivia questions:
(Also from Richard Lederer's Literary Trivia)

Names can become adjectives when the character become closely connected to a behavior.

Can you name the character or book, and give the adjective?

The hero of a novel by Miguel de Cervantes engaged himself in endless knightly quests, rescuing damsels he deemed to be in distress and fighting monsters by tilting against windmills. The adjective describes people who are idealist and chivalrous to an extravagant degree.

Don Quixote de la Mancha
- quixotic

In 1516, Sir Thomas More wrote a book about an ideal state. As a name for both the novel and the place, More coined the name from the Greek parts ou "no", topos, "place", and ia, "state of being". The resulting word designates any ideal society.

Utopia - utopia

Charles Dickens was well known for creating characters which epitomized a particular behavior. Even though old Ebenezer's heart turned from stone to gold at the end of A Christmas Carol, we still use his name to describe a mean and miserly person.

Ebenezer Scrooge from A Christmas Carol - scrooge

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