Famous ghostwriters from the past to the present day
In addition to the already mentioned ghostwriters of antiquity, the writer Eugène Sue and the writer Alexandre Dumas père are to be mentioned above all.
In the Anglo-American language area, the term “ghostwriter” was first used in the 19th century, abbreviated as “Ghost; the corresponding infinitive is “to ghost” (for this and the following: Volkening, H .: On the edge of the autobiography, Ghostwriting, Signature, Gender, Diss. Munich 2003, Bielefeld 2006, p. 58).
In French, the terms “écrivain public”, “écrivain fantôme”, “assistant”, “collaborateur”, “co-auteur” and the outdated terms “teinturier”, “plumitif”, “porte-plume” and the word “nègre”, in Spanish, next to “anónimos”, the term “negro”, which refers to the dependence and the serving position of the ghostwriter with the connotation “slave”.
This use obviously goes back to the writing workshops of Alexandre Dumas père, in which a large number of writers permanently produced texts under his name, which explains the enormity of Dumas’ work. In a contemporary criticism, the following is noted:
“Il embauche des transfuges de l’intelligence, the traducteurs à gages qui travaillent à la condition de négres travailleurs sous le fouet dún mulâtre” (Volkening, ibid.).
This shows that Alexandre Dumas père ghostwriter worked for himself, while he himself claimed the literary fame for himself. After all, historical adventure novels by Alexandre Dumas père such as “The Count of Monte Cristo” with 18 volumes or “The Three Musketeers” with eight volumes have achieved world fame. In addition, he wrote or let write with a staff of staff many romantic historical dramas, including. “Antony”, “The Nesle Tower” and “Catherine Howard”, “The Queen’s Collar” and “Kean.”
From 1840 Dumas went on to write to an extent in series production with ghostwriters incessantly adventure novels and then publish them as sequels in daily newspapers, to publish them then as books. In the process, the artistic element mostly came to an end behind the particularly artful and imaginative action.
However, Dumas père did not stick to historical facts. A breathtaking action with uncomplicated noble heroes and a spirited diction secure the favor of countless readers and admirers until today, especially since many adventure novels were successfully filmed in the 20th century.
Eugene Sue, too, owed his tremendous literary success to a fruitful ingenuity. He distinguished himself by a trivial style and a touching black and white painting. He also inspired his readers with imaginative and adventurous actions and entered the history of literature as one of the founders of the serialized novel in the feature pages of the daily newspapers or as author of the most successful newspaper novel of all time “Les mystères de Paris”.