A working scheme seems to be
where the entry in the file is
In the first argument to you can put anything you need to ensure correct sorting.
A couple of words, as asked by Florian Rubach.
To BibTeX, something like is like an "accent"; usually one does to get sorting of ü like "u" (which may not be correct in German, but it is for English). However, this feature can be used to force the sorting we want.
With in the preamble, we are saying that when LaTeX finds in the document, it should ignore the first and third argument, so printing "Van". This will come from what has been stored reading the file. However, before the bibliography we change the command so that it ignores the first and second argument, so printing "van", which is what's desired in the bibliography.
The first argument is never used by LaTeX, but it is by BibTeX; the string in the first argument can be anything that ensures correct sorting: It comes before the rest of the surname, so it will the most important information for sorting.
I should mention that I wouldn't change how a name appears in the two places.
Cite in MLA automatically using EasyBib’s citation generator.
How to Format an Author’s Name in MLA 8
It’s vitally important to make sure you correctly cite the last name of the author(s) whose work you’re referencing. To correctly cite the author, always begin the citation with the author’s last name, a comma, and the rest of the name as it appears on the source. Place a period after the author’s name. Here are some examples for citing one or more authors:
How to Cite One Author:
King, Laurie R.
How to Cite Two Authors:
Place the authors in the order in which they appear on the source. Note that only the lead author’s name is listed last name first; all additional authors are listed by their first name, middle initial initial if applicable, and then last name:
Shields, David, and Caleb Powell.
How to Cite Three or More Authors:
List the author’s last name, first name, and then middle initial if applicable. Follow it with a comma, and then add et al. in place of the additional authors:
Beck, Isabel L., et al.
How to Cite Works by Individuals Other Than the Author:
In cases where the person responsible for creating a work is someone other than the author, such as an editor, producer, performer, or artist, always include the individual’s role after the name:
Kansaker, Tej Ratna, and Mark Turin, editors.
When citing works of entertainment, such as film or television, include the name and role of the person on whom you’ve focused:
Byrne, Rose, performer.
*Note: If you are writing about a film or television show that does not focus on an individual’s role, omit the author’s name and start the citation with the title.
How to Cite Translated Works:
When your focus is on the translated text rather than the original, treat the translator as the author. Include the name of the original creator after the title, preceded by the word By:
Rojas, Carlos, translator. The Four Books. By Yan Lianke.
How to Cite Using Pseudonyms in MLA 8:
Usernames and online handles are now acceptable to use as the author’s name.
How to Cite Corporate Authors in MLA 8:
If a corporation is the author of the text, include the full name of the corporation:
The New York City Department of Education.
How to Cite when There is No Author in MLA 8:
When no author is given in a text, omit this section and start the citation with the title.