Authors throughout time have used pen names to keep their identity a secret or to make the reader’s focus more on the book and less on the person writing it. For example, Mark Twain, a well-known American writer, was born Samuel Clemens. He changed his name after working on a steamboat along the Mississippi River in Missouri. He actually gets the name ‘Mark Twain’ from a type of measurement that was used on the boats called a ‘twain’, which people would mark, hence his new name. His life on the river was very important to him and this is evident through his name change. Another reason writers change their names is because they are actually women looking to make it in the literary world. George Eliot, the author of Middlemarch, was actually Mary Ann Evans, born in England during the 1800s, who wanted people to take her work seriously. During that time, men had all the power and authority so it was only logical to take the name of a man. J.K. Rowling, the famous author of the Harry Potter series used the initial of her name Joanne, and made up the ‘K’ as she did not have a middle name. This was all done because she believed boys at the time wouldn’t want to read a book about magic written by a woman. Authors also use pen names to heighten the story they are telling and to make it more believable. I Am Number Four, a science-fiction novel about aliens (that description doesn’t do it justice, it is actually a very intriguing story) is written by Pittacus Lore. In the story, Lore is the ruler of the place where the aliens originate, Lorien. James Frey and Jobie Hughes are the actual authors, but props to them for incorporating more of the book to be apart of the reader’s imagination and the story overall. I also used to read a book as a child called The Name of This Book is Secret, written by Pseudonymous Bosch. The actual author of the series is still disputed. Dictionary.com defines ‘pseudonymous’ as “bearing a false or fictitious name.” Relates pretty well, doesn’t it? ‘Bosch’ may come from the artist Hieronymous Bosch, who is actually one of my favorites. Overall, authors use pen names for all sorts of reasons and some of those reasons can be quite interesting once you get to researching them.
I just got back from work, so bear with me on the fact that this post is about movies and not books. Should Hollywood continue to remake classic films, especially if they’re based on books (see, now it relates)? Last year, The Great Gatsby was released. Now this movie is based on a book that already has a film adaptation. I’m not saying that the newest version is lame (because it was AMAZING) but I’m saying that it’s strange that people think we need to do more remakes. Footloose, an 80s classic was recently remade with a little bit of a more modern edge. This was all fine and dandy but hardcore fans may have seen this as just trying to revive something that didn’t need resuscitating in the first place. I just think it’s strange that there is an apparent need to remake movies that already have been made. Like how long are we going to wait until we start remaking the Harry Potter movies? Now that I think of it, you don’t see authors doing that with books. Why do we remake movies? Is it a marketing gimmick to make fans buy more merchandise then they did when the movie first came out? Or is it to bring back those feelings you get seeing that movie? When and if they do remake the Harry Potter movies, I will probably be as emotional and excited about them as I was when I was young. I’ll be like that parent who freaks out when an 80s song comes on the radio that they remember. Maybe we remake movies because we have no choice to, we’ve run out of originality and creativity, the spark of imagination is gone. When that happens, I don’t know what we will do. Probably remake more movies.
Lately it seems that a lot of movies that are based on books are usually split into two parts. Take the Harry Potter series, Hunger Games, and Twilight for example: every last movie in those franchises was split into two parts. This is mostly done because the books are so long and important that they need all the content. However, it is probably a marketing gimmick as well. To make a series last longer and to gain more profit on it, splitting a movie into two parts seems ideal. You get the best of both worlds: a fandom lasts a little longer and people make money. For some reason, the split movies make my mom angry. I find this kind of funny, though. Personally, I like when movies are split up because it gives me more to look forward to, even if I have to wait a while. For example, I am reading the third book in the Hunger Games series, Mockingjay. The movie comes out this year on November 21st. However, this is only the first part of the movie adaptation and the second part will probably come out sometime next year. I guess this does give people time who haven’t read the books to catch up, though. This gets me to thinking about other movies like this; Gone With the Wind is a movie I have on DVD and it is split into two parts just because of the tremendous length of the feature. This is how it would’ve been played in theaters in 1939 as well, with an intermission in the middle. Titanic, starring Leonardo Dicaprio, isn’t based on a book but it is also one of those really long movies that didn’t fit on the tape so it had to be split into two parts. I believe the Divergent series will be this way. Even though I’ve only read one of the books, I think that the last one will probably be split into two parts for entertainment and monetary reasons. Do you think movies based on books should be split into two parts?