The Sorrows of Young Werewolf (eyeteeth) wrote,
The Sorrows of Young Werewolf

(Melville) Dewey Defeats Truman (Capote)

Even though Melville Dewey's given name was in fact Melville Dewey, he went by Melvil Dewey, and even though Herman Melville's given name was Herman Melvill, his mother slapped an e on the end of the family name after his father died and voila, Herman Melville. (I don't know why she did it; maybe, as I have heard was true of William Faulkner, né Falkner, she was so sick of people spelling it wrong that she decided to change the spelling to what everyone seemed to think it ought to be. Also, though I'm no fan of the name Herman, it could have been a lot worse; the firstborn son was named Gansevoort, and would probably have thought of a minor cosmetic change to his last name as being like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, if he hadn't died before the Titanic was built.) So you can spell Melvil, and also your own name, however you like. In the Old Country my family was known by the name Teethstein; we changed it not to sound less Jewish but because people kept pronouncing it teeth stain, thinking they were being very witty.
Tags: herman melville, stix, william faulkner
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