alter ego

alter ego: 

a second self or different version of oneself, such as
a :a trusted friend
b :the opposite side of a personality –  Clark Kent and his alter ego Superman
c: a fictional character that is the author’s alter ego

Literature is the lie that tells the truth. Or so they say. That’s why sometimes writers choose to use alter egos. Ernest Hemingway wrote the so-called Nick Adams stories, John Updike had Rabbit Angstrom and Henry Bech, Bukowski had Henry Chinaski.

But why?

Is it a lack of courage?

Is it something writers do for their own amusement?

This could easily turn into an endless debate. The truth about fiction is that it’s similar to a dream. It is said we’re all the characters in a dream. The same goes for literature; there’s a bit of the writer in all his characters.

We write about who we are, we write about who we used to be, we write about who wish we could be, who we wish we couldn’t be. We write about the kind of person we’d love to love and the one we’d love to hate.

We write about who we couldn’t have been were it not for our addiction to writing.

We also write about the villains that inhabit our own lives.

And, yet, in each and every single one of them there’s a small portion of our soul. There. Maybe never to be recognized, but the same way some criminals like to tease detectives by leaving certain clues behind, the writer wants to leave something of himself behind.


8 thoughts on “alter ego

  1. Thought provoking 🙂 When I first created my blog I had considered a pen name or to just be anonymous. I ultimately didn’t go through with that because I realized I don’t want to be behind the scenes of myself if that even makes sense lol. Oddly enough, I feel more comfortable putting myself out there as is in writing than I do in person. Thank for the great post and making me think! 🙂

  2. Beautifully expressed. I think writers mask and unmask themselves and reality continually. While there is the need, as you say, to build an alter ego, which I believe is often used to protect oneself, it is, at the same time, used to show things from a different perspective. There is always the goodness in us as well as the devils inside each person. As far as the villains that inhabit our lives, yes, I also needed to write about them yesterday, about something still incomprehensible in today’s Europe:

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