The OF Blog: I wonder if this has occurred to others as well

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I wonder if this has occurred to others as well

I'm currently about halfway into Felix Gilman's second novel, Gears of the City, and I see he has named a character Potocki. I immediately thought of the 18th century Polish author Jan Potocki who wrote The Manuscript Found in Saragossa (by the way, do go out and grab a copy of it, as it is quite good). I wonder what other famous authors/names others have discovered while reading a novel.


Anonymous said...

There is character called Korzeniowski -Joseph Conrad's real name- in Michael Moorcock's "The Warlord of the Air". There is also Katje Borgesius in "Gravity's Rainbow" and two characters named Ballard and Clarke in "A Niche", a Peter Watts short story.

Lsrry said...

Cool. I know George R.R. Martin has done that with a few author friends of his, but I didn't know that about Watts or Moorcock.

Anonymous said...

Totally obvious and pretty lame on my part but John Keats from Dan Simmons' Hyperion.

RobB said...

I'm reading Drood right now and finding out Wilkie Collins, who many feel wrote one of the first mystery novels - The Moonstone.

Lsrry said...

I love that novel, and Woman in White perhaps even more. I'd highly, highly recommend him, although his novels are more than just mystery novels.

Liviu said...

Wilkie Collins is the narrator of Drood and while I read and enjoyed both The Moonstone and Woman in White a while ago, I had no idea he was so well known in his time - though he is credited by some with starting the mystery genre.

Ian McDonald poked some good-natured fun at some contemporary British authors in The River of Gods - the Hamilton laws, the Auley this or that

There is a Lt. Stross in J. Scalzi Ghost Brigades and actually many characters are named after writers, scientists - it is an explicit convention in the novel

Dumas is named in tons of novels, the most recent one that I enjoyed is the historical thriller Napoleon's Pyramids by W. Dietrich in which Dumas' father, "The Black General" has a cameo role as the commander of Napoleon's cavalry in Egypt, and the main villain when challenged to a gun/sword duel by Dumas but stopped by Bonaparte, offers him the "Cagliostro" duel in return, involving eating a roasted pig, and when the general refuses and storms out of the command tent, the villain has a Dumas-like Cagliostro moment, saying that "he was wise to refuse; this way he will get back to France and father a son who will be very famous one day..."

marco said...

although his novels are more than just mystery novels.

Not the more than/transcending the genre discourse, I hope?

A couple of posts on this phenomenon on the crime/mystery side of the pond:
How does one crime author pay tribute to another

When one crime writer honors another by name

Camilleri's Montalbano and Nesser's Van Veeteren are the most famous cases.

Nesser is a serial offender -three minor characters is in his novels are called Joensu, Kellerman and Mankel, all crime fiction authors.

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