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Johnny's name as a psuedonym?(Done with)

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  • Johnny's name as a psuedonym?(Done with)

    First post, yay. But without wasting time on introductions, I'm reading HOL for my second time, once read, once nitty/gritty. And working my way through, one thing in particular has caught my eye.

    Johnny's name is never 'officially' presented as 'Johnny Truant'. The closest we come to such a thing is the front of the book with the 'with introduction and notes by Johnny Truant', and various references by the Editors to him as such. But as the Editors themselves said on page 4:
    "We also wish to note here that we never actually met Mr. Truant. All matters regarding the publication were addressed in letters or in rare instances over the phone." So it's quite plausible that Johnny actually changed his own name, but why?

    The biggest support for this is on pages 585,643,644.

    585 is the article on Johnny's Father's death. It's quite reasonable to prsume that Johnny's dad would have the same last name as Johnny, so why is his last name always deleted? But, if he did change his last name, why didn't he change his dad's in the article?

    643 and 644 are two pages dealing with the aftermath of Pelfina's death. The first being a letter to Johnny about her death, and the second being a receipt for Johnny picking up her items. This time it's more apparant, as Johnny's last name itself is deleted.

    Here we are, with three rather 'officious' documents, all altered in such away as to cast doubt on the authenticity, or really, the accuracy of Johnny's last name.

    I apologize if this has been brought up, I searched, and didn't even find any real references to the pages I mentioned, but maybe I didn't search right.

    I'd assume he got his 'last name' from Pelfina's letter metioning that 'JOHNNY IS TRUANT'.

    But again, Hi.

  • #2
    Hi there; welcome aboard.

    There has been a fair amount of discussion on this topic, and you might find this thread (amongst others) useful.

    Johnny's surname is definitely a pseudonym, or perhaps rather an epithet (as I posited here, and others before me I'm sure elsewhere).


    • #3
      Worst of all, I've seen that thread, but I bookmarked it because I had to go somewhere, and forgot to go back to it.



      • #4
        Johnny's name

        This thread is the only one I could find that addresses his name (albiet last name) but I feel it noteworthy to share something that I found in the American Slang book I've been reading.

        Johnny or johnny n Any man; =JOE, JOHN

        "Johnny could be anybody."

        (Not a direct quote. I know the author said it and I think it's said in the book. I lent my copy out but should be getting it back tomorrow.)


        • #5
          Except, this one's a Truant.


          • #6

            Johnny-come-lately n A newcomer or latecomer, especially a recent adherent to a cause or trend.

            (After all, he is the late-coming author. No, I wouldn't count the editors as being the newcomers...the writing reader is, too.)
            Last edited by On a Map of Swirling Cord; 05-24-2009, 08:05 PM.


            • #7
              You mean late in terms of the introduction, being the first part of the book? Because I guess, yeah, in relation to the other authors, Johnny being the first author to speak would make him the late-comer.


              • #8
                We're dealing with chronological order, dude.


                • #9
                  I disagree with that, too. By referring to him as a "late-coming author" then it doesn't matter what the timestamp was, it matters what he wrote where.

                  Also, I don't remember writing that post...


                  • #10
                    I don't think his name being "Johnny" reflects on how ambiguous his last name is. Johnny is, like Cord pointed out, a kind of "everyman" name.

                    The change in his last name, the apparent falsehood of it also seems to ring a bell to me of the whole "Pelafina as Author" or even "Zampano as Author", and while we're at it, Johnny could have written TNR and used the false last name to distinguish personal from his critique.

                    But of course, i can back none of this up.

                    Perhaps it is more of the "everyman" idea. Perhaps it isn't necessary for us to recognise the character, but more so what he's going through. It's difficult for me to word, but i basically mean to say that his name is designed to put the emphasis on the reader, and less so on Johnny. After all, each one of us has a story to tell when asked about this book.