S. Morgenstern: Famous Florin Author or Anoying Literary Device?

I have yesterday, while browsing through a bookstore, I came across a copy of “The Princess Bride” By William Goldman. Throughout the entire book he makes references to his wife who he dosen’t love, his rather wide son and S. Morgenstern, the the famous florinise(sp?) author of the complete “The Princess Bride” though I remebered having read something in SDMB claiming that S. Morgenstern did not exist, and Goldman was just refering to the fitional Morgenstern (often remarking on Morgentern’s genious) in order to compliment his own writing (Ironicly, in one of his interjections, he comments about how Morgenstern used his wife in this manner in the origional book, and how he took out all instances of Mrs. Morgenstern). When I re-read the book with this in mind, it seems to be highly probable, however I really would like some solid proof, so if you do respond to this thread, please provide cites if at all possible.

There is no S. Morganstern. There’s clues littered throughout the book- for example, Florin and Guilder are not countries. It’s just an extremely neat gimmick.

I think that if you find any book reviews most of them mention that there is no Morganstern.

Nonsense. I travel to Florin on business all the time. Once when I had a layover, I took the time to see the sights.

It costs $8.00 U.S. to do the walking tour of The Pit of Despair, and a local business acquaintance took me out on his boat past the Cliff’s of Insanity, before treating me to some traditional Florinese cooking at his house.

Unfortunately, I hear the Fire Swamp isn’t what it used to be due to some dumping. I hope they clean it up.

Yeah, but what about the R.U.S. es?


No doubt on a pleasure cruise at night through eel-infested waters. :slight_smile:

Well, the Fire Swamp is in Guidler. Everyone knows that the Guilderians can’t manage their own affairs. That’s why Humperdink wanted to conquer the country. :smiley:

Zev Steinhardt

ROUSes? I don’t believe they exist.

Zev Steinhardt

Ah, but does your copy have the same back cover info?
Paraphrasing (since my copy is at home):
What happens when the world’s most beautiful woman meets the world’s most powerful man, and he turns out to be a son-of-a-bitch?

(ahem) that’s **R.O.U.S.
Rodents Of Unusual Size (sigh, how many people forget the “O”)

Well, if you absolutely insist on being a spoilsport about the whole thing, read Goldman’s most recent book about writing screenplays, “What Lie Did I Tell This Time?”. He mentions the Morgenstern device in passing.

It’s also important to note that both narrators in the story are fictional: just as there is no S. Morgenstern, the William Goldman the narrator is a fictional charecter created by William Goldman the author.

Someday I am going to write a paper where I discuss The Princess Bride as the only truly entertaiining post modern work ever, because in it’s own wacky way it is as post modern as anything written by more academic writers.

He is an amusing and effective literary device.

Ah – how often I long for the lost glories of the packing scene.

Here’s a copy of the letter you (allegedly) get back from Goldman if you write in to Harcourt Brace asking for the unabridged reunion scene… http://www.geocities.com/Area51/7579/letter.htm

And to support this, let me note that the Goldman character in the book has an annoying fat son, Goldman-the-Author has two daughters who apparently are neither fat nor annoying.


Uh…thank you everyone expecially Manda JO for your interesting (and somewhat unexpected) insights into this already facinating book. Please, however, include cites for your stuff, because if I tell this to my friends, they will DEMAND proof.

[righteously indignant sniff]

The Princess Bride needs no cites; it stands head and shoulders above all other literary and cinematic creations of the entire twentieth century, and is as self-evident as Humperdincks’ cowardice and cruelty.

[/righteously indignant sniff]

Read my note above: I gave a cite.

Fictional Goldman: One fat annoying son and frigid wife
Real Goldman: Two (presumably)non-fat, non-annoying daughters (and at the time, I believe he was divorced).

In the Princess Bride, Florin and Guilder were countries
In the real world, florins and guilders are currency like shillings and nickles and yen.


Digging this thread up, because I just finished the book, and got the same question. What do you mean it’s a literary device? Ack!

Fenris, no that is not a cite. That’s a statement. All you did was state (and then restate) something you claim to be true. You gave no way to verify that. Finagle provided a cite - the name of an actual book one can look up.


You mean there’s no unabridged reunion scene?

Oh man, another icon of my youth falls by the wayside.

I’m enjoying this thread. But shouldn’t it be in the Cafe Society?

I’ve read an interpretation of The Princess Bride that it’s all a big commentary on hard currency (similar to ones I’ve heard about The Wizard of Oz). I don’t remember much, but whoever came up with it thought it was very important to note the appearance of a Sandy Sterling in Goldman-the-narrator’s tale, as well as the fact that Florin and Guilder are named after types of currency.

I just did some googling, and found a link to it here.

Though part of me is afraid I’m being wooshed on this, too.