What’s in a (pseudo)Name


Carmela Ciuraru finds a great many reasons for writing under a pseudonym– taking under analysis a reasonable desire to separate a personal from a public persona, living out a fantasy ego-and taking note that fewer authors choose to use them.

Whitman proudly proclaimed his contradictions of himself, and Joyce Carol Oats had this to say: “The cultivation of a pseudonym might be interpreted as not so very different from the cultivation in vivo of the narrative voice that sustains any work of words, making it unique and inimitable.” Sounds fun, so why is the use of pseudonyms in decline?

Emmy Komada is a translator and assistant editor at Two Lines Press, part of the Center for the Art of Translation. She likes languages, and reading, and trying to read in various languages. More from this author →