Wherein I apologize to the actual Louis Gabriel Ambroise de Bonald

Stealing the name of a historical figure is stupid.  Why create unnecessary confusion?  And although intended as a tribute to the original, it also means claiming an unearned identification.  In fact, I’ve realized this for some time now, but at this point what can I do?  I suppose I could make up a new name for myself at the risk of more unnecessary confusion.  I could drop the pseudonym altogether, but I’d rather not have this be the first link that comes up when my students google my name.  (Having it come up when university officials and funding agencies google my name could also create complications, of course.)  And, being a rather bad orthodox Catholic, something just feels ridiculous about religious writings under my actual name.  Bits of my name won’t work either.  My last name is too distinctive, and my first name isn’t distinctive enough.  So probably I should just bite the bullet and make up a new name.  I’m having trouble thinking of anything good, though.

Maybe I should take a cue from the biblical scholars and start calling myself “Deutero-Bonald”.  Scratch that.  It’s a stupid idea.

10 Responses

  1. Your problem is very similar to that of a monk who takes the name of a prior saint, but then gains some renown (or notoriety) of his own. So, the Church has ways of doing this sort of disambiguation you could look into adopting….

  2. i.e. you could append a last name (won’t work for you), a location (Bonald of America???), an occupation (Bonald the Blogger),… lots of ideas out there to ponder besides Deutero-Bonald.

  3. Pseudo-Bonald

  4. Bonald II

  5. I think you should just keep it. But I’m probably not the best advisor on choosing pseudonyms.

  6. There are some good ideas here. If I decide to change, it might avoid some confusion if I kept “Bonald” in there somewhere. Hopefully L de Bonald in heaven won’t mind.

  7. I am sure that the original Bonald would agree that “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. Charles Caleb Colton
    .
    Just continue to believe in yourself, live life intentionally, and speak Truth to your readership. Your audience will follow.

  8. You could always add a first name and become “Bob Bonald”. 🙂

  9. I have no problem distinguishing between you and the real thing, or thinking you presumptuous. At times I relate things that I’ve read on your blog to a friend of mine who doesn’t spend much time on the internet, but is familiar with L de Bonald. I always subject your nom to ridiculous Anglicization when I refer to a blog post. You are “Donald” but with a B instead of D. This annoys my friend I think, he wants me at least to acknowledge the French pronunciation of it somehow, but in my mind the different pronunciation is a way to accomplish the tribute you intend to the the Frenchman while not attributing yourself to him without merit.

  10. Be popish and call yourself Bonald II.

    Or use your first name too. “X de Bonald”

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