Monday, October 3, 2016

Ferrante and Reading

Wow, this entire saga about Elena Ferrante insisting on being anonymous so people read her work rather than the ineffable person behind her work says some pretty brilliant things about Ferrante.

It has become natural to think of the author as a particular individual who exists, inevitably, outside the text—so that if we want to know more about what we’re reading we should address that individual, or find out everything about his more or less banal life. Remove that individual from the public eye and, as O’Rourke says, we discover that the text contains more than we imagine. 

Aaaaaaand the literature review industry has just turned Ferrante's anonymity into an object of fetishization itself, to have an idol to discuss (and reel in horror at the violation of) rather than discussing the text of her books.

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