Monday, April 10, 2006
The Two Ways of Anonymity
(one) The most common way - to say something you don't want to be known as saying, i.e. for *devious* purposes (which could be spite, nepotism, insult, cruelty, dubious joke etc etc.) -- or publishing pornography, or issuing a Valentine's card, or hiding one's identity to avoid reputation depletion etc.
(two) The Nemonymous way,
(i) whereby the fiction author wants some objective view of his work to be made without his name getting in the way -- and I, as an editor, equally don't want it to get in the way when I consider his submission for publication and
(ii) as an experiment in fiction anthology presentation as a new gestalt reading experience (i.e. stories written independently and remaining separate yet somehow more 'together') and
(iii) leading to a brainstorming approach to reviews and critical appreciation and
(iv) bringing fiction nearer to the artist-naming (late-labelling) approach of other arts such as fine arts, architecture, music etc. (instead of having the name on the spine, on the title page and, often, on the top of each alternate page throughout the book) and
(v) trying to bring fiction more easily to an interstitial or between/cross-genre optimum, thus bringing more readers for each of the separate genres themselves.
Regarding (iv), it may sound dubious – but I believe writers actually *lose out* by direct by-lining, i.e. without the advantage of the variously gradated ‘late-labellings’ that other artists enjoy.
I think it true to say that (one) above brings anonymity into disrepute, a cross which Nemonymous has to bear.
AUTHOR AS ARBITER
1) Fiction/Poem = Original Text placed in the audience arena. Nothing can change that. It is everlasting and immutable. (If it is changed, ie revised or translated, this becomes a new work, a new immutable entity).
(2) What can be taken from or given to the Text = reader's 'opinion' or 'reaction' or 'knowledge' -- countless opinions and reactions and degrees of knowledge: all different and mostly unknowable but all added to the aura of the work whether they are physically annotated on the printed page in pencil or kept inside the head.
(3) Creator (or First Mover) of Text = Just another reader with fallible rights to describe/interpret/evaluate Text, i.e. after it has been placed in the audience arena as a discrete 'sculpture' or entity of creativity.