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Unfiled October 7, 2005
Savenko and Savendo
By Edward Limonov Browse author

Extremely blessed by God are those great men, who have received their great family names by Nature, by birth. Mozart sounds great, and even more impressive when pronounced together with Wolfgang Amadeus. It sounds as symphony in itself: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It sounds at least as first syllables of symphony.

Nietzsche is also great name appropriate for philosopher of Negation. At least in Russian its sounds like Niet zche, translated as repeated negation: not, categorically not! Some researchers, specialists of Nietzsche biography, have suspicions that Nietzsche's family have Slavic origins. If so, then it is very revealing name: not, categorically not.

Adolf Hitler is also revealing name specially when one knows that until certain time Hitler's family names was that of Schiklgruber. Please, note that probably fatal letter "l" what is present in Adolf's first name, as well as in both family names: Hitler and Schiklgruber. Same "l" is present in Nazis salutation to its fuehrer: Heil Hitler. What does it mean I don't know, but means something, I believe it. May be it is in some connection with a word "Evil"?

I was surprised when I discovered that Dante's real name was Durante. Certainly "Divine Comedy" would be less Divine if it was written and signed by Durante. "Dante" sounds classical, as made of rock, it is in itself belonging to same material as canyon, ravine of hell, Hades, Underworld where Dante descended. Dante descended into Hades, not bad. Very impressive. On the contrary in Russian language "durak" means fool. It is also interesting to know that Russian greatest national poet Alexander Pushkin was killed by French aristocrat Dantes. Almost killed by Dante.

Less fortunate are those people of art who have had employed their imagination to find themselves better names than names given them by their birthright. Some of them went so far as to choose names of opposite sex. Aurore Dupendudevant first woman writer feminist have chosen to become George Sand. Why? Dupendudevan in French means backside of bread, so it is name of appropriate to low classe people. Young and ambitious woman took men's name George, and she actually behaved as man, she wore man's clothes, she took men professions of journalist and that of writer. As to second part of her "nome de plume" (pen name) historians believe that Sand is borrowed from German student who tried to kill king of Prussia.

On the contrary from Aurore Dupendudevant great French writer of 20th century Louis Ferdinand Destouches have named himself after his mother's first name -- Celine. Despite women's name Louis Ferdinand Celine is an example of macho masculinity and that of plebian cynicism of his prose. It is widely believed that Celine was a fascist writer, so modern history has a paradox on its hands -- a fascist cynical writer, sporting tender woman's name. A reason for laughing.

Russian writers for the most part have avoided of having pen-names. Pushkin, Dostoevski, Tchernichevski, Leon and Alexi Tolstoi, Saltikov-Schedrin, Tchekhov and others are real family names. That phenomenon has its explanation: all those writers were Russian aristocrats, they were proud of their names. While French writers of 19th and that of 20th centuries were plebians. Even Voltaire disliked his small family name Arrua, so he become Voltaire.

Humble me have choosen my "nome de plume" out of despair for my family name Savenko. So from a tender age of 22 I am using "nome de plume" Limonov. That pseudonym was given to me by my literary friends young provincial poets, we were playing literary game, giving to all participants artificial, strange sounding names. Ironically later in life I have discovered that my family name Savenko is produced from first name of Orthodox church Saint Savva. Savva is translated from Hebrew as "wise man." So, instead of to be wise I am Limonov, of Lime, of Limon. But it is too late to do something about it.

Once when in United States I was brought in court for a minor, very laughable offense, I have urinated near the entrance of New York City subway at deep night. Subway trip was too long so I could not stand anymore: police surprised me at that delicate moment. So, when in court I have listened to voice of black woman an assistant to judge, she was calling us one by one, so we could stand up and appeared before judge, young white man. When black woman have an appeal to certain Edward Savendo, I didn't move. Only her third attempt to summon Savendo before judge was successful, suddenly I understood that Savendo is me. Black woman assistant unconsciously made me latino by changing only one letter in my family name, from law-obedient Ukrainian Savenko I was transferred into law-breakign vicious SAVENDO, descendent of hispanical conquistadores -- killers and their Indian victims.

When in prison, having a lot of time I have analyzed every sound of my family name of my first name and that of my patronymic: Edouard Veniaminovich Savenko. Laying on my prison bed I would streap that chaine of letters of consonants leaving only vowels: oua eiaii aeo. I would repeat it endlessly. It sounded to me as shamanism, as mystery: oua eiaii aeo!!! Jesus, I thought, those sounds should mean something. Man born with such a mess of sounds should be destined to something unusual. At least that guy could not perish in prison. So easily. Even if I substituted SAVENKO for Limonov the result in the end was practically the same: oua eiaii ioo. That is my name, leave or take it. That is my substantial, essential I.

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