After seeing a brand new translation of Jorge Luis Borges′s mini-essay "Borges and that i" (included here), Halpern requested quite a few writers to muse in short on "the fictional personality ′behind the scenes,′" the alter(ed) ego that accompanies construction.
He requested a few 50 famous authors-such as Margaret Atwood, Pat Conroy, William Gass, Czeslaw Milosz, James Michener, Joyce Carol Oates, and Cynthia Ozick-to write items in this concept. The essays are usually one- to two-page snapshots and differ extensively as to procedure. a few are touching, others delightfully foolish.
Edward Gorey anagrams his identify into these of characters together with Ogdred Weary. Others, equivalent to Cecil Brown, posit earthier personas: "He is the right kind Negro who's ashamed of me, the nigger." And nonetheless others are reflective: Susan Sontag remembers her longtime disavowal of her paintings and eventually involves consider that "the author is me: now not my double" and hence she is "both Dr. Frankenstein and the monster." every one contributor additionally submitted a fantastic self-portrait.