It was the night before the Oscars that Michael binge watched two movies. The first was named “Writers” and took my instant attention. The second which begun after an hour, was “To walk invisible.” While the former was set in our own times; rather bohemian a society; the latter took us back two hundred years into an era where genteel women were still struggling with layers of puffed skirts. It was also an era of messy inkpot writing and hand written manuscripts, where volumes implied “bundles of pages neatly tied with string”.
Currer Bell chimes as a curious sounding pseudonym for a first time novelist. Was Charlotte Bronte right in assuming that a male sounding name with the similarity but of the initials, would take her on the path to be a published writer? Once she got her acclaim, did she wonder whether she would need to work for money or had it been a smooth ride ahead?
There is a line in the script “When a man writes, what he has written has been judged; when a woman writes, she is being judged.”
I haven’t much to say, except that George Elliot, P L Travers, Stephen King and Mark Twain are better known than Mary Ann Evans, Helen Goff, Richard Bachman and Samuel Clemens.
While a typical writer might not want to change their name to another, pseudonyms might help in taking their audience further into the experience of their writing. Imagine you are watching television and you hear the voice of David Attenborough; you might think “BBC” or “nature” or both. The “host” of the show is transformed into the part of the experience that you are promised to get. With a new book, we have two things that promise you the experience, the first is the Title and the second is the Author’s name. (Publishing house, cover design too…but let’s discuss that latter.) The Author is now the host as you open the first few lines to hear the “voice”. That.
At the end of this writing, I must mention that the second symbol of writing came to me in form of a fictitious conversation a protagonist had with Stephen King in “Writers”. Stephen King recommends him to send his story to the “Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine” and that project is the next on my list. ( Thanks Stephen or the voice actor Stephen.)
Symbols of our destiny are sometimes all around us. We have to open to our experiences and feel them encompassing us. 08th march is the day when Michael is free from a certain long time unrelated project and energy is just waiting to be channelized into something mystic, mythical and magnificent. Let the Writing begin!