It is fair to say that even the relative anonymity of tweeting and blogging still promote the person above the work. I blame Enid Blyton and her children’s tea parties – her fantasy of what a children’s writer should be.
For myself I don’t really care who wrote Shakespeare’s work – all I need to know about the writer lies in what is written.
I’d rather know nothing than be forced to engage with the notion of the writer. I was very upset to discover that Richmal Crompton was a woman, that PG Wodehouse broadcast for the nazis, and that Orson Scott Card espouses dubious political views. Suddenly the work became something other than itself; I could not unknow its provenance. Frankly, I prefer ignorance and that has made me chary about finding out about the authors of books I have loved. I don’t want to know – the books are what matters and some writers really do more harm than good by revealing their true selves.
As I fold back my wings and clean my claws between words, I wonder if I should pretend to be someone else, someone human and if that might help me sell more books. Or if I should eschew disguises, expose my tail and neatly cloven feet and say to hell with it all.
Read the book, damn you and leave the writer out of it!