On Names and Pseudonyms

The Lifeboat №20: Lessons and facts about using different names

Names are weird. Take “Ivan”, for instance. There's Ivan Bunin, a Russian writer and a Nobel laureate; there's Ivan IV the Terrible (or the Formidable), the first Moscow ruler who declared himself tsar of all Russia, who also killed his own son; there's Ivan The Fool, a character of Russian folklore, a silly, naïve yet lucky guy; there's Ioann The Baptist (Ioann is now a clerical version Ivan), a Jewish preacher in the early 1st century AD; there's Ivan Ayvazovsky, a Russian Romantic painter, the master of marine art; there's Ivan Drago, a stereotypical Soviet Boxer, the arch-nemesis of Rocky Balboa; there's Ivan Pavlov, a psychologist, another Novel laureate, in the mass culture famous for his dog experiments. These are just the ones from the top of my mind but the list can go on for a long time – I can write an entire essay listing famous Ivans, using Wikipedia, obviously.

Continue on my website