Now, these two writers, Thomas Mallon and Adam Kirsch take a look at the issue from a different perspective in this week's New York Times book review section.
What do we know about the writer's life.
Each of the authors have a different opinion and present a case from their own perspective and from and about the perspective of living and deceased authors.
Two examples that resonate for me are Lillian Hellman and William Shakespeare.
|Lillian Hellman, 1939 © via NY Times review|
Lillian Hellman was reviled by her protractors because they believed they, and not she knew the truth.
|William Shakespeare, Martin Droeshout engraving, 1609, via Wiki|
Conversely, the mystery that surrounds William Shakespeare both elicits favour and an untold number of conjectures.
|Sigmund Freud, 1926, Ferdinand Schmutzer via the Freud Museum|
And in typical Jungian fashion, and true synchronicity, the Washington Post reviewed Adam Phillips new book, " Becoming Freud: The making of a psychoanalyst" in which many illuminating statements are made about memory and the biographical state.
A book I've put at the top of my long list of must reads.