The Story of A New Name


Earlier this week, Aaron Brady wrote presciently in his column for The New Inquiry about the ethical implications of revealing Elena Ferrante’s identity. He pointed out that in searching for her “real” identity, reporters were forgetting that one of the greatest things about Elena Ferrante is her fictions, and that at the heart of it, they are still committing the unconscionable act of violating a woman’s privacy:

The Neopolitan novels are literally and directly and magnificently about female self-making, the importance of names, and the meaning of being a woman in public. They are about control over your identity, and about the specific hostility of the patriarchy for that project. They are about the men who will say things like this and write articles like this. They are about why not to do this.

Theodora Messalas is a New York-based writer and editor who could easily be talked into going to grad school. More from this author →