Monday, 20 June 2011


As we all know, when choosing a book, the most important factor to consider is how good the author's name is. Authors with great names have to work harder to live up to them.

We present for your very serious consideration our favourite author names. We hope to compile a reader's chart, so please leave suggestions we have forgotten (and I am sure there are hundreds) in the comments section.

10. Willard Van Orman Quine

You know a philosopher isn't going to indulge you with aphorisms or pop culture references when they have a name so severe you feel admonished just reading it.

9. Didier Daeninckx

One of the perks of being French is that you can add a new letter to your surname at any time.

8. William Carlos Williams; Ford Madox Ford; Jerome K. Jerome

Ok, ok, we get it.

7. Orly Castel-Bloom

6. Umberto Eco

If you want your son to grow up to be a world-renowned medievalist, naming them "Umberto Eco" is a pretty good move.

5. Marcel Mauss

Everyone's favourite cartoon rodent anthropologist.

4. Rabindranath Tagore

Not content with a first name that sounds like the sort of thing you'd expect a dragon to be called, Tagore also cultivated a highly authoritative beard.

Pictured: Tagore, aged 14.

3. Shlomo Sand

His work on Jewish history might be highly controversial, but slowly reciting his name is without doubt one of the best ways to hone your James Stewart impression.

2. Rainer Maria Rilke

Ok, it's just a lovely name.

1. Miguel de Unamuno

The day that saying "Miguel de Unamuno" doesn't do it for me anymore is the day I ditch names entirely and assign everybody a reference number.

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