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Posted on Tuesday, April 26, 2005 - 07:26 am:   

I recently dredged up my original Nemonymity Manifesto in 2001 for Jeff V's Manifesto thread:

Having done this, it struck me that I ought to start drafting a new one in the light of four years' experience. Any input from others would be welcome.

Just a thought - and I know this is not every editor's cup of tea - in fact it is only my own cup of tea, it seems! -- but for the last four years I've read hundreds of stories (for Nemonymous) -- stories that I have been sent under cover of anonymous emails (and I am possibly the only one in the world this has ever happened to!) - and these were accepted or rejected before knowing who wrote them (or without any context whatsoever). I've really enjoyed this experience. I feel I have been highly privileged to have this unique experience. I think stories do read differently without by-lines. As I say, just a thought. Not sure where it leads ... but, on the face of it, it seems to me to be the only common sense way to read story submissions. This cup of tea of mine disregards any marketing considerations regarding name authors, which I concede can be important.

I have also found that coupling a by-lineless story with eventual ‘denemonisation’ for its author can be done quite easily. And they actually get more 'blame' or 'credit' eventually than if I by-lined it for them within the Nemonymous where it is printed.
Previous authors in first four issues shown here:

The Two Ways of Anonymity:-

(one) The most common way - to say something you don't want to be known as saying, i.e. for *devious* purposes (which could be spite, nepotism, insult, cruelty, dubious joke etc etc.) -- or publishing pornography, or issuing a Valentine's card, or hiding one's identity to avoid reputation depletion etc.

(two) The Nemonymous way,
(i) whereby the fiction author wants some objective view of his work to be made without his name getting in the way -- and I, as an editor, equally don't want it to get in the way when I consider his submission for publication and
(ii) as an experiment in fiction anthology presentation as a new gestalt reading experience (i.e. stories written independently and remaining separate yet somehow more 'together') and
(iii) leading to a brainstorming approach to reviews and critical appreciation and
(iv) bringing fiction nearer to the artist-naming (late-labelling) approach of other arts such as fine arts, architecture, music etc. (instead of having the name on the spine, on the title page and, often, on the top of each alternate page throughout the book) and
(v) trying to bring fiction more easily to an interstitial or
between/cross-genre optimum, thus bringing more readers for each of the separate genre themselves.

Regarding (iv), it may sound dubious – but I believe writers actually *lose out* by direct by-lining without the advantage of variously gradated ‘late-labelling’ for other artists.

I think it true to say that (one) above brings anonymity into disrepute, a cross which Nemonymous has to bear.

Lateral notes:

Anonymity as name-removal or name-changing in the form of an artistic statement or a new slant within Aesthetics theory.

Anonymity as name-removal or name-changing in the form of inexplicable or gratuitous or 'Absurd' acts.

Anonymity as the disguising (changing the 'semantic name') of words so as to provide a meaning beyond themselves or to derive a poetic/plotic force from texture as well as text.

The above are distinct from the more usual meaning of Anonymity, i.e. for devious purposes.

I now make the following six pointless claims:

(1) I wrote the world's most separate short fictions published in the most separate independent print publications (none of which fictions, incidentally, should be read out of context with the others but rather as an entire highly moral accretion of fiction or novel-in-continuous-progress),

(2) I produced, in 2001, 'Nemonymous': the world's very first self-contained multi-authored volume of anonymous fiction stories collected as such (the authors' by-lines being revealed in the subsequent published volume),

(3) I was the very first editor to start considering (and later only to consider) anonymous story submissions for publication until and beyond final acceptance or rejection,

(4) I am the only writer who has ever attempted to post the whole of his back catalogue of fiction to a megazanthine network of freely available websites (a sixties-type 'happening' showing the writing I have done over the years as a hobby!) - now being used as a menu for any passing editors to choose short fictions for reprinting,

(5) I published, in 2002, the world's first blank short story in print (as far as it is known), and

(6) I coined these words and expressions: 'zeroism, egnisomicon, egnisism' in conjunction with PF Jeffery (1967), 'whofage' in conjunction with PF Jeffery (1973), 'agra aska' (1984), 'weirdmonger' (1988), use of 'brainwright' in modern times (1990), wordhunger (1999), 'nemonymous, nemonymity, late-labelling, veils-&-piques' (2001), 'denemonise' (2002), 'megazanthus' & 'weirdonymous' (2003), 'wordonymous', 'wordominous', 'the-ominous-imagination' (2004), 'a woven fire-wall of words', 'bespoke publication selling', 'nemoguity' (2005)

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Posted on Sunday, May 01, 2005 - 01:50 pm:   

The URL given above for the old Nemonymity Manifesto seems to be defunct.
I have now been able to get it via an Archive site:

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