“Bunky” was Jellinek’s nickname, fitting the scientist, the humanitarian, and the “screwball,” as his second wife Thelma Pierce Anderson remembers him in a letter to Mark Keller. Contrary to what oral history has perpetuated, the word “Bunky” does not mean “little radish” in Hungarian, which Jellinek, as a native speaker, knew was nonsense, but he insisted on the nickname nonetheless.
A coworker for many years, Mark Keller, editor-in-chief of QJSA, might be held accountable for many of these myths spreading them inadvertently spread during his attempts to write Jellinek’s biography. His correspondence with Jellinek’s wife, Thelma Anderson includes several unpublished manuscripts that attest to Jellinek’s multiple talents and passion for philology.
Bunkyana is the umbrella term of these artifacts written by or related to Jellinek.
Many of them have been preserved in the Alcohol Studies Archives of the Center of Alcohol Studies, at Rutgers University.
For example, a typewritten and hand-corrected short document entitled “Who Was Who in Greek Mythology” he shows off his classical learning, linguistic dexterity, and inventive sense of humor, and offers some fascinating traces of his academic pursuits and personal life by retelling classical legends in contemporary language. Jellinek, a polyglot and polymath, delights himself in these private amusements by jumping between registers of meaning. Read more in Bunky’s Pantheon.
A list of the Bunkyana collected and discussed so far
- Bunky’s Doodle or the Progression Phases of Alcoholism by Dr. E. M. Jellinek
- The story behind Bunky’s Doodle, i.e., the path to the Jellinek Curve
- The Jellinek bookplate: the ape contemplating a human skull while sitting on a book entitled “Darwin.”
- Bunky verses, recollections of Mark Keller and Thelma Pierce Anderson of several witty poems that Jellinek, a gifted poet, well versed in classical poetic forms, left behind
- Bunky’s Pantheon, refers to classical legends written by Jellinek in contemporary language
- The “Bunky,” or the bust awarded by the Jellinek Memorial Foundation
- Jellinek on the Big Book
- Who Remembers Jellinek – a post with lots of background on Bunkyana
- The Lay Supplements, Jellinek’s initiative to educate all about alcoholism
- Harold Kalant shares his memories about E. M. Jellinek