Many will already have caught this story, which hit the news media and the world of literature yesterday: Claudio Gatti, an Italian ‘journalist’ claims to have discovered the identity of the writer Elena Ferrante, and has had no reservations in revealing it.
I do not doubt for one moment that many will view this revelation as an extremely vile action on the part of this man, and will justifiable vilify him for his actions. I also do not doubt that he will revel in the publicity he receives and carry a large check to the bank for his pains.
The pains, however, will be felt more by the person who Gatti claims to be the author writing under the name of Elena Ferrante. It should be clear to all that she has very good reasons for wishing to write under a pseudonym, whether we know what those reasons are or not. It should also be clear to all that this exposure goes well beyond the ‘need to know’ principle of journalism and into the realms of invasion of privacy.
Screenshot Source: Twitter / The Guardian
Gatti is certainly not to be lauded for his revelation, no matter how much publicity and ill-gotten fame he may gain from the news. More, he should be put back in his place, in the gutter where he belongs, and taught what real journalism, especially investigative journalism – which he undoubtedly claims this to be – really is.
It is one thing to reveal misdoings and crimes, but quite another destroy the privacy and peace of mind of a totally innocent person who has done nothing but create pleasure for millions of readers around the world.
- Viktoria Michaelis.