The New York Review of Books has (probably) revealed the identity of Elena Ferrante. Vox has an overview here. (I’ve only read the first of her Neopolitan books and enjoyed it less than seemingly everyone else who’s read them, but I liked this essay by Giovanni Tiso about her work.) I can think of three contemporary anonymous famous people – Ferrante, Satoshi Nakamoto and Banksy, and Nakamoto seems to be the only one we still don’t really know about, despite several attempted investigative exposes. Are there others? This column makes a strong case for the obligations of journalists to reveal the identity of very famous and influential anonymous individuals.
There’s this big debate among literary elites about the intersection of fiction and identity politics – what do novelists have the right to write about, can they write outside their own lived experience and privilege, etc, and Ferrante is – or at least was much celebrated as a feminist author writing about poverty so its interesting to learn that’s she’s also guilty of the the alleged crimes of appropriation and ‘writing outside her own experience’.