Can anyone tell me who these people are?
January 7, 2004 4:48 AM   Subscribe

Can anyone tell me who these people are?
posted by Katemonkey to Grab Bag (31 answers total)
2nd item from the left on the 2nd row looks like Mark Twain to me.
posted by Irontom at 5:05 AM on January 7, 2004

The one on the bottom row, 3rd from right, in the green shirt with the big collar looks like Shakespeare to me. And the guy 3rd from left in the top row (blue suit) looks a little like Albert Einstein.
posted by contessa at 5:09 AM on January 7, 2004

2nd row, no. 5 made me think of Sir Francis Drake.
posted by misteraitch at 5:16 AM on January 7, 2004

Is that Britney on the right?
posted by johnny7 at 5:21 AM on January 7, 2004

1.1 Socrates?
1.2 Freud

2.2 Edgar Allan Poe?
posted by vacapinta at 5:23 AM on January 7, 2004

and 2.5 is i think Kepler
posted by vacapinta at 5:34 AM on January 7, 2004

2.3 is Chekhov I am certain
posted by vacapinta at 5:56 AM on January 7, 2004

kate, maybe a closer shot would clear up the text - and provide a better clue for a reader of Chinese who the hell they were supposed to be? Anyways, I think 1.1 is Charlton Heston... I mean, Moses...
posted by JollyWanker at 6:10 AM on January 7, 2004

2.7 is Uncle Joe I think.
posted by Dagobert at 6:30 AM on January 7, 2004

I see Mark Twain and Edgar Allen Poe. I'm intrigued by the women, as they both look very modern. I also like the way the women had to wear pink. Judging by their garb though - almost like a sweater with a collared shirt under it, they may be more recent than the men. By the way, these are Nationa Famous Persons, without the L in National, Katemonkey ;) This is the best post yet on ask metafilter.

I have to go to work now, but will sleuth later...yay!
posted by iconomy at 6:56 AM on January 7, 2004

I'm almost positive that the first one is Walt Whitman. Having a look 'round for some of the rest...

What a fun question, Katemonkey!
posted by taz at 7:04 AM on January 7, 2004

This is absolutely a great AskMe question. I don't have any suggestions beyond the obvious ones, but my curiosity is really peaked! Where are the Chinese-reading Mefites when we need them??
posted by widdershins at 7:06 AM on January 7, 2004

I don't read Chinese myself, but I've posted the question; let's hope some of my Chinese-literate readers respond before we all perish of curiosity.
posted by languagehat at 7:47 AM on January 7, 2004

aha...thank you, iconomy. I wouldn't want to be accused of misrepresenting the Nationa Famous Person.

And I don't have bigger pictures of the images, I'm afraid. I scanned these in while I was working, and now...I'm not. Plus, they're currently in a box somewhere, and I'm not sure where they are.

I think one of the women might be Jane Austen. But I'm not sure which.
posted by Katemonkey at 7:50 AM on January 7, 2004

I agree with Einstein, Shakespeare, Twain, Poe, but I think maybe #5 on the second row may be Sir Walter Raleigh. The women are difficult, but if I had to guess (and disregarding the modern dress), I would say pehaps Mary Shelley for the top, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning for the bottom...
posted by taz at 7:53 AM on January 7, 2004

I'm thinking that it's a safe bet that they're all authors, or at least characters in books, since the things are bookmarks.

That said, I think the first one is Karl Marx.
posted by crunchland at 8:06 AM on January 7, 2004

I think crunchland is right; also, now I'm thinking that #1 is Tolstoy. And could #3 on the bottom be Thoreau? (This guy's a toughie.)
posted by taz at 8:51 AM on January 7, 2004

I think the "woman" at the end of the first row (in pink) might actually be Percy Bysshe Shelley.

And could the guy on the far left of the second row be William Blake?
posted by filmgoerjuan at 8:52 AM on January 7, 2004

taz is right about Tolstoy, but we're unlikely to get definitive answers on the others; as a couple of Chinese-literate readers have complained on my blog, the scans are too poor for reading except for the one that's blown up at the bottom:

...the scan is too blurry to make out the characters. The one which is scanned larger at the bottom is Tolstoy, though (Ch. Tuoersitai).
posted by languagehat at 8:59 AM on January 7, 2004

OK, I can't help it...

I see dead people.
posted by terrapin at 9:48 AM on January 7, 2004

second from the last looks like stalin.
posted by Hackworth at 9:48 AM on January 7, 2004

Whitman, Freud?, Einstein, ? (Jane Austen? A Bronte?), Jefferson?, Twain, Chekov, ?, Jon Donne?, Shakespeare,?,?
posted by jpoulos at 10:00 AM on January 7, 2004

Hillary Clinton? or a really bad Margaret Thatcher?
posted by amberglow at 10:18 AM on January 7, 2004

And when Margaret Thatcher was bad, she was really, really bad...

posted by JollyWanker at 10:30 AM on January 7, 2004

A couple of commenters on my thread have really been knocking themselves out; apparently 2.1 is Goethe and 2.4 is Rabindranath Tagore.
posted by languagehat at 1:00 PM on January 7, 2004

A summary:
(I make no attributions. Look at the timestamps for this thread and languagehats thread to see who suggested it first)


1. Tolstoy (Definite. Based on Translation)
2. Freud?
3. Einstein (Definite. Recognizable)
4. ??? (Guesses include Shelley, Austen, Bronte)


1. Goethe (I'd say definite. This is as close as we get)
2. Poe/Twain/Zola? (I favor Poe because of the broad forehead and Twain is usually depicted with white hair)
3. Chekhov (Definite. This is a classic, recognizable image)
4. Tagore? (This is the best guess and it looks good to me)
5. Raleigh/Kepler/Donne/Drake? (Drake would be disfavored because he is not a literary figure. Someone from the 16th century no doubt)
6. Shakespeare (Definite. Recognizable)
7. ??? (Stalin is a common guess but this doesnt seem right given that he is not generally a literary/quotable figure. Early 20th century eastern european - but who?)
8. ??? (Disagreement on gender. Is it a man with a wig?)
posted by vacapinta at 1:27 PM on January 7, 2004

Could 2.7 be Ibsen?
posted by biffa at 3:51 PM on January 7, 2004

I sent this to my father, who suggests that 1.4 is Louisa May Alcott, but I'm not sure.

I think 2.8 is Elizabeth Barret Browning
posted by jpoulos at 5:56 PM on January 7, 2004

Yes, larger scans if possible please. I'm pretty sure I'd be able to read them then. Even if they are the ick that is simplified characters :)
posted by casarkos at 6:57 PM on January 7, 2004

The last one is Hedwig (not the owl).

Okay, maybe not.
posted by John Shaft at 8:20 PM on January 7, 2004

Latest results/suggestions from my thread:

Upon further obsessing:

1 Tolstoy
2 Zola
3 Twain
4 Shelley

bottom row

1 Byron
2 Balzac
3 Chekhov
4 Tagore
5 Bacon
6 Shakespear
7 de Maupassant
8 Voltaire

Someone better dig into that box and solve this before we all go mad!
Posted by: suz at January 8, 2004 12:32 PM

posted by languagehat at 10:21 AM on January 8, 2004

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