“Leave Elena Ferrante Alone”

David Ulin in Lithub:

In part, I think, our fascination with the secret lives of writers has to do with the fact that we feel so close to them when we read. This is as it should be; reading and writing is exceedingly intimate. But that’s part of the trick of art, isn’t it?—that the artist is most fully themselves when in the process of working, that this is all we need to know? It’s why, as John Irving once suggested, the question of the autobiographical is irrelevant: “[A]n adult should … know,” he wrote, “that whether a novel is autobiographical or not is beside the point—unless the alleged adult is hopelessly inexperienced or totally innocent of the ways of fiction.”

Read the whole piece.

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