Sunday, August 26, 2012

Is the Literary Recluse a Dying Breed?

Yes. :(

Damn you social media.

From a piece on Lit Reactor...

To Kill A Mockingbird was published in 1960. Since then, Harper Lee has appeared in public a handful of times. She never wrote another book, and she rarely grants interviews. 

In 1951, J.D. Salinger published his first novel, The Catcher in the Rye. As the book grew in popularity, the author withdrew from public, moving from his Manhattan apartment to Cornish, New Hampshire. From there, he published three more books, all without maintaining a public profile.  

Only a few photos of Thomas Pynchon exist, nearly all from high school and college. He's published eight novels, and despite some high-profile "appearances"--like in animated form, as himself on The Simpsons--there's still a great deal of speculation about him.  

These authors, and others, carry an air of mystique that make them bigger than their writing. They leave more questions than they answer: Why didn't Lee finish The Long Goodbye, her second book? How many novels did Salinger write that will never be released? What does Pynchon even look like? 
These are authors we feel like we know, but we never really did.
They're also a dying breed--the literary recluse, rendered obsolete by blogging and social networking.

1 comment:

Scathe meic Beorh said...

No, but even if the Lit Recluse _is_ a dying breed, I'll die with them because I have a website, but that is the extent of my self-promotion.

Scathe meic Beorh

author of BLACK FOX IN THIN PLACES (Emby Press)