April Bernard criticizes the practice of rounding up all of a writer's ephemera and passing it off as their art:
If the old biographical fallacy was the use of the life of the artist to interpret the work, the new biographical fallacy results from the impulse to lumber an artist’s work with the detritus, literary and otherwise, of the artist’s life. Correspondence, diaries, jottings, drafts, interviewsthe stuff of a life in lettersare piled up for consideration, not just in the relatively circumscribed and well-understood havens of biography or critical study, but in published volumes of what is called the author’s work.
There is a reason a writer decides to publish some things and not others. And it seems to me to disrespect them as writers to ignore this.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.