When I say image, I'm speaking of esteem, reputation, fame ... in this case, the image of authors, poets, writers.
Instantly I had two pictures in my head:
|1. Carl Spitzweg: The poor poet||2. Stephenie Meyer at the ComicCon|
Two pictures, that couldn't be more oppositional. On the one end the poor poet, living in a shabby chamber, obviously fighting to sell some of his work to get some food. And on the other end an author, celebrated like a rockstar, earning millions and millions of dollars.
Once caught track on that image idea, I sent my thoughts back in time and landed with Homer, famous Greek epic poet of 'The Iliad' and 'The Odyssey'. During his lifetime: Was he respected for his works? Was he famous? Was he rich? It's hard to imagine that he had to share the same fate like some poor painters, whose artwork became famous after their death or that poor poet in his chamber?
What about William Shakespeare? Sure, I've read and worked with quite a few of his plays, but I have to admit, that I don't know anything about the person Shakespeare. I'm happy to name his years of birth and death. And some information from 'Shakespeare In Love' couldn't hardly be counted as facts! That's quite pity, isn't it?
Practically as I am I did a basic online research, in the hope to find some dissertation like 'The image of writers in the course of time', which I haven't found. And obviously this topic would need some more effort than A-Z challenge allows. But if you have some sources for me, tell me! I'm interested!
Anyway, Homer and Shakespeare brought me to the question: What remains? The author or his/her work, only connected with the name of the person, who's written it? I would say, the latter - when it comes to the writers of the Antiquity. But in the days of internet, homepages, Facebook and Twitter, it's much easier for writers to share all those details of their lives (willing or not willing) with their fans. But there are also some current writers, like Patrick Sueskind, author of 'The Perfume', who still prefer to live in the background, avoiding public and publicity.
Honestly, now I granted 'image of an author' some space in my head, I wonder, IF one day I should become a famous published writer, what would I prefer? Celebrated like a rockstar with all the positive and also negative sides of the business? Or remain the secret in the background? That thought implies some romance and mystery (and privacy) for me.
What's your image of a writer? What image would you prefer for you as a writer?