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ICOS 2008 Conference Abstract

With Another Name: The Use of Pseudonyms among Writers 1870-1920

S Entzenberg
Uppsala university, Sweden

The change of social structure from the middle of the 19th century made a new approach to society and people possible. A contributory cause to this was the development of daily papers like Dagens Nyheter (1864) and Svenska Dagbladet (1884), and the founding of a new sort of publishing. The number of writers and authors increased, particularly from the 1880s on. An economic value arose around book production, which brought along altered terms for the writer. The expansion of the press and the book market led to more opportunities to be published in different genres, both in easier and more serious contexts.
To write under a pseudonym or a signature was modern among both female and male writers. With this paper, I want to look into the use of pseudonyms among writers, regarding their professional role as a writer. In what kind of contexts were pseudonyms used? What kind of pseudonyms were used? How does the usage take form among women and men? A guess is that the use of pseudonyms made it possible to take different positions as a writer. This, in turn, meant a certain kind of freedom to create disparate types of texts.

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