What is a writer’s image?
Is it Faulkner pouring another drink, Baudelaire walking his lobster in the park, or Sylvia Plath who loved death too much? Is it James Joyce with his poor eyesight and bow tie? Perhaps Marianne Moore who was a political conservative, looked like the stereotypical maiden aunt (black cape and tricorn hat aside), and loved boxing matches. Gertrude Stein comes to mind, holding court in Paris and loving Alice’s cooking a bit too much. Then there is Anne Bradstreet who said some shocking things for a “nice puritan lady” and got away with it. What about Georges Simenon, one of the worst womanizers, whose famous Maigret was the most uxorious of men.
Will the real writer please stand up? Wave? Anyone?
Maybe there is no image. Writers can be anything they like. How refreshing!