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nemo
Posted on Saturday, May 03, 2003 - 08:50 am:   

It could be argued that the late labelling device demonstrated in practice by Nemonymity brings short fiction *nearer* to most other unlabelled art forms (e.g. architecture, some paintings, sculpture, music etc) ... with, in addition, all the benefits (voiced by some Nemonymous contributors) of uncluttered fairness of reader judgement (including editorial choice in choosing that story in the first place) and focus of attention on the story itself. Etc. Arguably.

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Des
Posted on Sunday, May 04, 2003 - 12:56 am:   

And the focus on the writer during the denemonisation process?
Actually, having slept on it, I think it is a mistake for me to try to rationalise Nemonymous. It just *is*. It seems to control me, rather than vice versa! As it did yesterday above! ;-O
Some people love it, others not - some indifferent.
Des
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Des
Posted on Saturday, May 10, 2003 - 11:56 pm:   

Nemonymous guidelines soon available via:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/veils_and_piques/
And a new interview about Nemonymity has just this second appeared on:
http://www.uta.edu/english/znine/interview2.htm
This was conducted in February.
Des
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Des
Posted on Tuesday, July 15, 2003 - 11:35 am:   

Any writer out there dead set against the experience of anonymity as part of their 'write of passage' in life??
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Des
Posted on Wednesday, July 16, 2003 - 08:06 am:   

If I receive no replies to above, I shall assume you *all* here will be submitting to Nemonymous~4 (www.nemonymous.com) simply to gain just one experience (during your otherwise long and successful named writing career) of being published anonymously. You may not get any other chance. :-) Des
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Rhys
Posted on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 03:02 am:   

I guess loads of writers out there are against the idea of being published anonymously -- but they probably prefer to remain anonymous!
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Des
Posted on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 08:06 am:   

Nonsense, Rhys! Or nemosense or something. I'm spliced on the horn's of an inscrutable Rhysian dilemma. Actually, it was a serious point above couched as nonsense. There may be only one chance to *experience* anonymity with your fiction. You don't have to do it twice. Many who have done it wonder why they hadn't done it before. It's a question of sending your story out there naked - into the deepest end of a swimming-pool of readership - but I'm ready with the warm clothes of your story's by-line when it clambers out. I wonder if I can extend that analogy.., Hmmm...
I'll keep quiet. Des
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Des
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 08:02 am:   

Long enough quiet!
Most other creative forms are already 'late labelled' - so why should fiction (& poetry) alone have the author's name *clearly* (i.e. in print) embedded up front within or upon the form itself?
Des

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Jamie Rosen
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 08:30 am:   

I don't think most other creative forms are 'late labelled.' You buy a cd by "Musician X", go to a gallery exhibiting art by "Painter or Sculptor Y", watch a "Director Z film, starring Actors A and B." All of these artforms can be done anonymously, or with late labelling -- but by no means are they done that way by default.

In my not so humble opinion, of course. :-)
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Des
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 08:50 am:   

But, in some of those examples, Jamie, the label is not usually part of the form itself. The book or the story has it embedded up front as part of the artefact itself. It is intrinsic.
Perhaps rather than 'most', I should have said 'many' - like architecture, sculpture (see it, then look for its label), music in a concert hall with the late or early (your choice) label of the programme etc etc

Even if I'm wrong (and, after all, the concept *is* nebulous and I set up this topic as a brainstorming one rather than a hidebound one), Nemonymity offers writers a rare chance (perhaps just once in their life) to have a presentation other than up front labelling. Many have said they enjoyed the experience. And many readers and writers alike have noted (in comments they have made) quite amazing repercussions simply from the presentational context of 'late labelling' of the works they write or read.
Des
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Jamie Rosen
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 10:02 am:   

Oh yes, I don't mean to sound as though I'm belittling or questioning Nemonymity (you'll note, after all, that I have submitted twice to previous issues.)
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des
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 10:09 am:   

Yes, I recall them very clearly, and I do sincerely and unpatronisingly say they were both *very* near misses. Thanks, Jamie. Hope you'll submit to Nemo~3 (anonymously, of course!). Des
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Des
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 10:11 am:   

Of course, I meant Nemo~4! Des
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Jamie Rosen
Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - 10:15 am:   

Thank you for the kind words, Des. I may very well submit to Nemo~4 -- but you can be sure I won't mention it here! :-)

I'm also hoping to have enough funds to order some previous Nemos when I get back from WorldCon next week. My shopping list is growing longer and longer...
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Des
Posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 08:51 am:   

Thanks, Jamie. Contact me separately about getting your Nemo fix!
Still wondering where I'm going wrong, though. At times a lot of discussion has been evoked by some of my semi-claims, but not on these threads. Sometimes I'm worried I tread on too many toes. At others, that there is indeed a lot of mileage in what I'm doing. But at the dark quarters of sleepless nights, that I'm entirely wrong about pushing this Nemonymity idea at all.
Des
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Neil A
Posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 09:05 am:   

Des, surely the praise for Nemo has easily outweighed the criticism?
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Nicholas Liu
Posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 09:23 am:   

Oh, come off it, Des. I don't mean to be flippant about something you've put so much effort into, but I still don't buy this whole "anti-Nemo sentiment" angst. Are people buying it? Are you managing to get good solid fiction? Are the reviews good? Then all's well. For any given idea, there'll be some people who'll proclaim that it's shite; just ignore them. There are many more people who think it's great. I'm one of them; as you know, I got all three, and I'll certainly be getting the fourth, and fith, and so on. I'm not the only one (the others? You've got their email addresses; ask them).

You're doing good things with Nemo. There's no need for so much self-doubt.
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Des
Posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 09:24 am:   

Hi, Neil. It has done so --- so far! Thanks, for that observation.
But it is often difficult to cut through the 'politics' of message-boarding upon the white-water egostreams.
Des
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Des
Posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 09:28 am:   

At my age, Nicholas, doubt starts encroaching with a vengeance, and not necessarily in any positive Descartes sense. But thanks so much for the encouragement to dissipate any self-pity! ;-)
Des
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Nicholas Liu
Posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 10:15 am:   

Wouldn't know about that, Des. I'm at the age where "doubt", like "self-preservation", is a completely foreign idea. ;)

Incidentally, I will have to remember the phrase "white-water egostreams" for future use.
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des
Posted on Saturday, November 08, 2003 - 03:46 am:   

I've been thinking about this for a long time, Nicholas, but I've now come to some conclusions that 'doubt' and 'self-preservation'. Having now finished Proust for the second time (once in the early seventies and now in the early noughties), I think I can truly doubt to the utmost. Not white-water ego-streams, but chiaroscuro nemo-streams of intertwining selves-as-elves. Des


"The nemo is an evolutionary force, as necessary as the ego. The ego is certainty, what I am; the nemo is potentiality, what I am not. But instead of utilizing the nemo as we would utilize any other force, we allow ourselves to be terrified by it, as primitive man was terrified by lightning. We run screaming from this mysterious shape in the middle of our town, even though the real terror is not in itself, but in our terror at it."
-- John Fowles (from 'The Necessity of Nemo' in 'The Aristos' 1964)

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des
Posted on Sunday, February 15, 2004 - 03:15 am:   

Amazon reviews (and perhaps relevant to Nemonymity). Have you heard about the great Amazon scam where authors review their own books glowingly but as anonymous readers. There's a report in today's Observer about this - apparently a part of Amazon recently had a technical glitch where all the anonymous reviewers were outed - with some red faces.
This report also mentions Anthony Burgess once wrote a review of his novel 'Inside Mr Enderby' under the name Joseph Kell, saying: "This is a dirty book ... It may well make some people sick.."
des

PS: A little disappointed that *nobody* has written an Amazon review on my 'Weirdmonger' book. ;-)
I have already written my own review of this book here (on 2 December) (!):
http://tinyurl.com/u2yk




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des
Posted on Sunday, February 15, 2004 - 09:27 am:   

I've been thinking about this.

You can use anonymity in one of two ways:

(1) 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, self-nepotism, cruelty, dubious joke etc etc.)

(2) A way that is hardly ever used - to make an artistic statement(within the philosophy of Aesthetics), such as Nemonymity (with or without late-labelling), (i) whereby the 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 presentation as a new reading experience and (iii) leading to a brainstorming approach to reviews and critical appreciation and (iv) bringing fiction nearer to the artist-naming approach of other arts such as fine arts, architecture, music etc. and (v) trying to bring fiction more easily to an interstitial or cross-genre optimum.


In the Amazon Reviews scandal, the author is ostensibly using anonymity (or pseudonymity) for devious purposes, and thus is (1).

des




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Rhys
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 08:36 am:   

Des: have you read Q by 'Luther Blisset'?

If you haven't, I highly recommend it!
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des
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 08:44 am:   

No, but Amazon Reviews? I'll search the book out and read it - I presume it has some relevance to Nemonymity. But even if it hasn't, Rhys, I value especially your advice, even though you're younger than me. des
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Jorge
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 11:02 am:   

See what you lose for not putting Nemo on sale at Amazon, Des? You can't even write your own nemonymous reviews of the magazine there.

;)
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des
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 12:06 pm:   

Yes, Jorge, but they wouldn't be 'nemonymous' reviews as such, but anonymous (in sense (1) above). des

PS: I didn't know I *could* put Nemo on sale at Amazon.
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des
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 12:17 pm:   

Brainstorming...
Just imagine a leviathan website of a library with thousands of books *without* authors' names - plots described, covers shown, lucky numbers given in a raffle, and you push a button get a book, then you write about it anonymously on the site after reading it. So serendipity will be working *some* of the time, but you will also be benefiting from an increasing bank of readers' comments to choose other books. Give and take. Some of the time, you will be depending on luck, at other times on the burgeoning bank of readers's comments. And it will grow exponentially. Authors - with a great clarion call (greater than anything before in a normal book market with authors named from outset) - will emerge after, say, 5 years, take a bow or take their brickbats or don't emerge at all. Working on this idea now...
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des
Posted on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 01:54 pm:   

Started refining this.

Titles of novels (without named authors) advertised on website. The actual books themselves don't have author's name shown.

Strict membership in accordance with credit card details etc., some books purchased at random (from the separately accessible `random'
website), some according to comments made by members (on the separately accessible `comment' website). Financial incentives within the pricing of the books for various aspects of these
purchases (yet to be worked out) i.e. for using which version of the website and for making comments etc.

Authors are contracted to reveal themselves after a set period, to great deserved acclaim (or not). Second edition of their book (if there is one) will bear their name.

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Rhys
Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2004 - 02:44 am:   

'Luther Blisset' is a sort of communal pseudonym -- anyone is allowed to use it. I think it was Italian anarchists who started this movement.

Anyway, the novel *Q* is a collaboration between four authors (who may or may not be well known) who have chosen to write under the single name Luther Blisset.

It's sort of nemonymous, I'd say.
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Rhys
Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2004 - 05:09 am:   

Des: here's an interview with another writer who might interest you. He's not nemonymous but his characters frequently are...

http://www.centerforbookculture.org/interviews/interview_rios.html
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des
Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2004 - 07:05 am:   

Thanks, Rhys for the info. Definitely to be followed up.

Following my half-serious Borgesian publishing house described above, someone elsewhere has added this interesting idea:

"Could this be a model for a democratic publishing house? What if the texts available for purchase were initially e-books? The most popular / acclaimed books would make it into print... the users of the website thereby
performing the role of agent...?
The reader gets a book out of it, the publisher gets an idea of what titles will do well in print, the writer gets readers... Hmmmm..."



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Neil A
Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2004 - 08:43 am:   

Des,

As you're discussing such things with regards to your library, I thought I'd reveal the possible semi-nemonymous factors of a forthcoming project I'm involved with:

Part of my intention is to produce an anthology of short stories, with authors listed alphabetically in an index at the back. So the stories themselves will be published without bylines, and the reader would not be sure precisely who wrote which particular piece. Kind of a condensed nemonymity. This idea came about in part due to Nemonymous, and in part due to the publicity surrounding Q.

What say you, Des?
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des
Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2004 - 09:01 am:   

Hi, Neil, that sounds great - and I look forward to reading it. Thanks for the honour of breaking the news on this thread.

'Condensed nemonymity' or 'semi-nemonymous', you say? But it's something new in its own right. Nemomixity?
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des
Posted on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 05:04 am:   

Someone has kindly passed me this amazing quote:

E.M.Forster 'Anonymity: and enquiry' 1925

'...all literature tends towards the condition of anonymity... It wants not to be signed. It is always tugging in that direction, saying, "I, not my author, exist really..." "Temporary forgetfulness" of the author's name and our own, this momentary and mutual anonymity is sure evidence of good stuff.'


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