Posts Tagged ‘ Elena Ferrante ’

The H word

Oct 8th, 2016 8:43 am | By

Another man sighs wearily as he opens the laptop to explain why Elena Ferrante has no right to anonymity or privacy, this time in Prospect.

The hysterical reaction in some quarters to Ferrante’s so-called “doxxing” is producing more heat than light. Books are largely read by a culturally elite group, the same people who commission think pieces, invest their cultural capital with importance. Journalists writing about this phenomenon fuel it, and to be honest, as we condemn the article that caused this mess, we are also profiting from it.

The “hysterical” reaction. Wouldn’t you think men who write words as a profession could learn to stop calling women “hysterical”? Ok he’s calling the reaction “hysterical,” not Ferrante … Read the rest

A woman must be either wholly invisible or public property

Oct 5th, 2016 12:09 pm | By

Victoria Smith aka Glosswitch asks how much of themselves writers should reveal.

If you are male, it doesn’t really matter. You are the default human being and all experiences about which you write – regardless of whether or not you have actually had them – will be universal.

If you are female it is more complicated. Reveal too much about yourself and you are not a real writer at all, just an over-sharer, wallowing in the petty specifics of a non-male life. Don’t reveal enough and you are suspect, manipulative, a tease. Either way you can’t win.

Elena Ferrante avoided that bind by writing pseudonymously.

Unlike female authors who use male pen names, she was still identifiable as a

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But no, they talk, they give interviews

Oct 4th, 2016 9:08 am | By

The Columbia Journalism Review interviewed Claudio Gatti yesterday.

What’s your response to those who say she’s entitled to her privacy? That she’s not a mafia boss or politician, but just a writer of fiction?

No, she’s not. But she’s a major public figure. Do you know who the Italian minister of the economy is?


Do you know who the CEO of the Italian oil company is?


But you do know who Elena Ferrante is. What I’m saying is, the biggest mystery about Italy from outside Italy is, “Who is Elena Ferrante?” It is a major issue, not that I made it such. When readers buy books by the millions, they have a legitimate desire to know more about

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“Newsworthy” is not a justification

Oct 4th, 2016 8:24 am | By

Emily Nussbaum tweeted

A wise and balanced Ferrante-take corrective by @NoreenMalone, which I agree with 95%:

and linked to Malone’s article, Elena Ferrante’s ‘Unmasking’ Wasn’t the End of the World.

Sigh. Yeah great, but nobody said it was the end of the world. Why do we have to be “balanced” about everything anyway? Why is “balance” necessary in this case? Why can’t we say authors have a right to be anonymous if they want to, and journalists have no duty or responsibility or obligation whatsoever to strip them of that right and that anonymity, and that it’s that much more ugly and domineering when it’s a man stripping a woman? Why is it “unbalanced” to say that?

Malone’s piece … Read the rest

Gatti thinks he knows better

Oct 3rd, 2016 5:40 pm | By

Deborah Orr has a blistering piece on the privacy-stripping of Elsa Ferrante. Orr is a massive fan of Ferrante’s work, has interviewed her, and is a contributor to “the new edition of Frantumaglia, a collection of writings by and about Ferrante that particularly seems to irk Gatti.”

But here’s the thing. I do not give a stuff who Ferrante “really” is. If I have a right to know, as Gatti argues, I don’t wish to exercise it. Gatti, as far as I’m concerned, has violated my right not to know, while Ferrante protected it. I was more than willing to play my small part in giving this writer the space she needed to write as she does, and

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Random man decides what rights Elena Ferrante can have

Oct 3rd, 2016 5:00 pm | By

The LA Times on the assault on Elena Ferrante’s privacy.

Ferrante had closely guarded her secret. The author specifically said — in her rare interviews — that she treasured her anonymity.

And that should be her right. Authors don’t have to tell us anything about themselves. Not one thing.

Gatti’s article was met with outrage by many in the literary community, including Roxane Gay, Ruth Franklin, Philip Gourevitch and Pamela Paul, decrying the journalist’s exposure of Ferrante’s true identity.

Rob Spillman, the editor and cofounder of the literary magazine Tin House, called Gatti’s report “immoral” and “unethical” and suggested that readers consider canceling their subscriptions to the New York Review of Books.

It is highly … Read the rest

The notion that Ferrante and her work are public property

Oct 3rd, 2016 12:29 pm | By

Stig Abell at the TLS on why the TLS wouldn’t have named Elena Ferrante:

His piece bears all the hallmarks – the signs, the stretch marks – of his effortful need to explain away what on the surface might seem a needless intrusion into a fellow writer’s privacy. He wants us to be convinced of the notion that Ferrante and her work are public property: the books are a “sensational success”; despite her anonymity, she has become an “oddly public figure” (a description where “oddly” can reasonably be translated as “not a”); she wrote a book arrogantly “purporting in part to outline her family background”, offering “crumbs of information designed to satisfy her readers’ appetite for a personal story”;

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As though yet another man had stripped a woman naked

Oct 3rd, 2016 11:17 am | By

Bina Shah just posted a brilliant piece on the outing of Elsa Ferrante. She discovered the novels this summer and was smitten.

“Reading” doesn’t describe what I did; “devoured” is the better word. I couldn’t put the novel down until I was at the last page, and then I immediately picked up the next one, like a chain smoker who wants the next cigarette before the first one is even finished (Here’s my Dawn article about the series, if you want to know more).

She didn’t care that she didn’t know Ferrante’s real identity, but other people did.

Particularly men, who claimed that perhaps the author was actually a man, because how could a woman write so well

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She felt she had gained a space of her own

Oct 3rd, 2016 10:50 am | By

Ruth Spencer at the Guardian compiles a collection of observations by Elsa Ferrante on why she wants to be anonymous.

“The wish to remove oneself from all forms of social pressure or obligation. Not to feel tied down to what could become one’s public image. To concentrate exclusively and with complete freedom on writing and its strategies.” – The Guardian

“I’m still very interested in testifying against the self-promotion ­obsessively ­imposed by the media. This demand for self-promotion diminishes the ­actual work of art, whatever that art may be, and it has become universal. The media simply can’t discuss a work of literature without pointing to some writer-hero. And yet there is no work of literature that is

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She writes so well about the ways men humiliate women

Oct 3rd, 2016 10:20 am | By

Suzanne Moore is disgusted at the violation of Elena Ferrante’s privacy by a loathsome man and the NYRB.

It does not matter who she really is. She is not accountable to us in any way. Oh, but apparently she must be treated like a fraud or a criminal or dodgy celeb and stripped of her privacy …

An appalling, pompous private investigator claims to have found her through examining the financial and real estate records of a translator who lives in Rome. This literary doxxing by this self-appointed arbiter of “truth” is a nasty violation. Claudio Gatti has no right to unmask this author. His excuse is that because Ferrante had said she may “lie on occasion”, she has relinquished

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We just think that this kind of journalism is disgusting

Oct 3rd, 2016 9:15 am | By

A woman novelist writes under a pseudonym. Her books sell. One of them is nominated for the Booker. So what has to happen next? A man has to rip away her pseudonymity, that’s what. The New York Review of Books, of all publications, has to help him do it by publishing his sleuthing work.

An Italian journalist who published the true identity of the “anonymous” author Elena Ferrante has said he did so because she is “a public figure”.

Claudio Gatti published a story in the New York Review of Books outing the author, who writes under a pseudonym, as Italian translator Anita Raja.

He said: “Millions of [Ferrante’s] books are bought by readers.

“In a way I think

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