26 July, 2009

Sunday Trivia: Robert Jordan's Pen Name

Digging through the web to see if anyone with insider knowledge had dropped any hints about the next installment in the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, The Gathering Storm (US), I fell across an interesting tidbit about the author's pen name. While the brief comment makes reference to "speculation", I have been unable to track it down:

The pen name of Robert Jordan was a subject of speculation throughout his career, with some believing he took it from the main character of Ernest Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls. However, he later said that he chose it because the first three letters of “Jordan” matched his real initials.
James Oliver Rigney is Robert Jordan's actual name, hence the Jordan. While this might indeed be true, it doesn't eliminate the other possibility. This brief, insightful paragraph which compares Hemingway and Fitzgerald explains:

Donaldson shows, for instance, how deeply both men believed in the lost cause. In an essay on "For Whom the Bell Tolls," he compares Hemingway's experience in the Spanish Civil War to that of his doomed protagonist, Robert Jordan. For Jordan, war "gave you a part in something that you could believe in wholly and completely." He is not naive: He believes in the Republic while also believing it is doomed.
For those of you familiar with Rand, it isn't a stretch to see the parallel. The real question is whether or not this foreshadows how the series will end -- sadly, only time will tell.


ediFanoB said...

In this case I can't help. I'm not familiar with WoT. I tried to read the first book several years ago but I stopped after 70 pages. Maybe I have to try again....

Amit said...

I remember once reading something about how he came up with a number of pseudonyms which matched up with his initials, though I have absolutely no idea where I did read that. So I think your first idea is probably the closer one

Term Papers said...

I really admire this, I mean it really looks interesting! Very nice research. Thanks to the author.

Term papers