Wednesday, March 30, 2011

On the Shelf vs Open Book

Lately I’ve been pondering the so-called two extremes of celebrated personality access. It’s not as complicated as it sounds.  Which is more appealing? An author such as J.D. Salinger, who had been cloistered away from the public, tantalizing us with his sincere cool while fans long for a tidbit… or someone who is very open and easily in the public eye? In this day and age it’s a lot harder to avoid, it seems, but that can’t stop someone from being evasive.

I’m not sure which I like better, the author on the shelf or the open book author. I can see the advantages of each, both from the perspective of fan and writer. But as for which I prefer?

Truth is I’m a little, I suppose the term for it is, camera shy. Don’t try to understand it, for I’m not sure I do myself… but I’m not entirely fond of photographs of me. Oh sure, photos happen, but I’d just rather they didn’t if not necessary. Quite obviously (from above) I enjoy presenting myself as a cartoon.

Which brings up Gorillaz, a band that’s only portrayed as cartoons and have even performed as such in 3D projections. Now there’s something to admire!

As for me, I suppose I’ll have to get over it for I’d really love to appear on ellen. Especially since she doesn’t normally have authors on… I think it would be great if she did.

Part of what began this narcissism is I’m to be interviewed soon. So the thought crossed my mind. Are there people trying to find out more about me?   Do I want them to?

I have to say I’ve enjoyed my emails with Anon.* Having read through my novels, Anon had lots to say – both inquisitive and insightful. A pleasure to answer the questions and exchange ideas. So I enjoy interacting with fans, it would seem.

But to be that open book? Constant exposure, so to speak? The spotlight is great and all, but eventually it would shine a bit too bright. Wouldn’t it? Maybe hard-to-reach and scraps of information are better. But by the same token, one doesn’t want to end up an unfathomable aloofity. Or does one? The allure of it can’t be denied. But it also oozes with sadness. Both ways.

There’s an episode of Frasier, 'A Crane’s Critique,' in which Frasier and Niles track down a beloved cloistered author and then are shocked to learn that he’s their father’s new friend and has finally written another book. Naturally, they swoon and fall victim to scheming to read the manuscript. The show of course brings up a lot of the perspectives akin to this dilemma of shelved/open book.

And here I am typing out selected snippets of my life for all to read who care to on these pages.
Obviously I haven’t figured out which pole I prefer. [As if there's a clear cut answer.]  For now, I’m content with being mysterious with a chance of intrigue. And for those who know what I’m talking about, I’ll just heed the words of the Helping Friendly Book and surrender to the flow.

I wonder what’s on the next page…

* Barrie enthusiast and my faithful reader and #1 fan

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