We have very little to gain by removing a novelist’s anonymity
Updated: Jun 1
Yes, yes and yes. I agree with everything in this article. I too wish to remain anonymous. I haven’t tried very hard to cover my tracks, but I do at least want the option to keep my writing and working life separate. This article from Salon argues that a writer of fiction should be able to retain their anonymity if they so desire. There’s nothing wrong with it. Except that in our age of forced connections and rampant extroversion the desire to be anonymous can give the appearance that there’s something wrong with the author. Here’s the opening paragraph:
Are there some things we’re better off not knowing? In the age of calls for political transparency, of the dominance of TMZ and endless celebrity news, of the constant tweeting by celebrities on their most pedestrian thoughts, it’s hard to make a case that anything can or should be kept secret. When we can find just about anything on the internet with just a few keystrokes, it’s hard to argue that we either can or should let mysteries just sit around. As a longtime journalist, I’m steeped in the idea that revealing and reporting the truth is almost always the right way to go, and that readers can figure out how to handle the news.
But the latest revelation — the outing of the likely identity of the enigmatic Italian novelist Elena Ferrante — has a lot of people, me included, a little queasy.