Initial Enquiries

There is much to be said about F L C Gorngy, beyond that which can be found in this review. Time will tell quite how much.

For now, let us content ourselves with details. What, for instance, do his initials stand for? Pranksters are fond of positing fanciful guesses, ranging from the obsence to the even more obscene. There’s an unmanned pulley by the curtain of truth. Allow me to lend a hand…

Frederico Luigi Caspian Gorngy is, I have it on good authority, the answer to this particular riddle. Nothing sensational there: just three regular(ish) names. Gorngy’s initials do, however, beg a further question, which is: how many initials is too many initials? I speak as a literary critic, not as a man of the world. I don’t much care for how many middle names the man on the street posseses. Writers, though, are a different proposition.

Into the bucket of knowledge goes the gloved hand of curiosity. Out comes a collection of further facts. Three initials is small fry, as one might expect. There are, it so happens, more than a dozen writers operating out there with four initials. Take Alice H P G Catilley, or HBBN Toots. This is, however, only the start of it. What about five? How about the Portuguese poet G J J P I Prás? Or the Chinese novelist  Jin T J-N G Ho? The winner of this rather pointless competition, however, has to be the Czech writer Tomâs D J J H W Ýelický. That’s Tomâs Daniel Jan Jirí Winnerman Ýelický, for your information. The first four names originally belonged to his mother’s brothers. The ‘Winnerman’ refers to the name of an American sportsman especially admired by his father. His friends, evidently spoilt for choice, like to call him ‘Mario’.

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