Thursday, 6 April 2017

WRITERS ON WRITING #92: Elena Ferrante

If the book doesn't have within it the answers to all of the reader's questions, it means that the book has either turned out badly or that the reader is posing questions that are beyond the book, as if they were saying (and I see this happening more and more):  I haven't read your novel, but all the same I'd like to ask you.  Authors –– all of them –– are considered dead, swept away just like Homer, and all together ready to rise up again each time a reader reads their pages and interrogates them.
  We tend to identify the author with the person who has written the book… The author is the book, is the writing, coinciding with the whole range of techniques, expressive strategies, and linguistic material with which the author addresses the reader.
  The person who has created the writing is, beyond the writing, so redundant, so fragmented, that often she cannot account for the book other than in an approximate, changeable way, and is not even sure that she will know how to write another.  When readers today think they are meeting the author, in reality they're meeting a man or a woman, rich or poor in humanity, but who has already left the role of author.  The author –– and his capacity to develop the quality of the linguistic material to which he resorts –– is present only in the works.

Interview by JENNIFER LEVASSEUR [The Sydney Morning Herald, 17 December 2015]

Click HERE to read the full interview with the famously 'unknown' Italian novelist ELENA FERRANTE, author of the bestselling Neapolitan Novels tetralogy, in the online archive of The Sydney Morning Herald.  You can also click HERE to read an article by ALEXANDRA SCHWARTZ about an Italian journalist's claim to have 'unmasked' FERRANTE via her financial records which originally appeared in the October 2016 online edition of The New Yorker.

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WRITERS ON WRITING #52: Sarah Waters

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