Someone who contacted me and asked me steered me towards this discussion on HTML Giant, about Roxane Gay's post about certain writings being NSFW, or the NSFW tag, and people were talking about some of the taboo content on Janey Smith's blog. And someone named "Blackheart Jackson" writes:
You mean Kate Zambreno. You wanted to give Kate Zambreno props given that Kate Zambreno is Janey Smith, which begs the question: why have a pseudonym if everybody already knows your true identity?
Great fucking work outing me, Blackheart Jackson. Even though I am not Janey Smith, nor would I mind being Janey Smith (yet I am not) this comment seems a bit snarky. But let's go with it. Does anyone know our true fucking identity? Are we as writers one static identity? Yes I use my real name "Kate Zambreno"as the "author" of what I write, yet my writing often features a fictionalized persona, I perform many personas and alter-egos in my writing. I write from the point of view of an agoraphobic woman with 9 cats, of a feral child...currently I am writing a rapist father stinking in his Eichmann cell who's in love with his daughter, and I am him, and I am writing a libertine teenager named Monkey, and I am Monkey, and I am writing from a Madame Bovary in the suburbs who devours romance novels like valium, and I am her too...all of them all of them, c'est moi c'est moi. And part of me loves how I can tear off my face yes just like in Silence of the Lambs tear off my face within this prison cell and be whoever I want to be I am like Genet loProxy-Connection: keep-alive
ngly tacking up his criminals on his wall...
And the question of why a writer would use a pseudonym is perplexing. I'm pretty sure I know who actually is Janey Smith, and this writer uses their pseudonyms as persona writing, as a sort of performance art. Was Fernanda Pessoa Bernando Soares or any of his heteronyms complete with alternate identities? No. But this is what I love about Pessoa. Writing bursting into performance art.