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Elena Ferrante (born in 1943) is a pseudonymous Italian novelist.
- Later, every form of religious belief seemed absurd to me, and death was as if disfigured. [...] Today I would never say: he has gone away. I’ve lost the sense of the crossing over: nothing goes up to heaven, we don’t move to another world, we don’t return, we aren’t reborn. We remain definitively immobile; death is the last point on the segment of life that has chanced to be ours.
- I can’t say precisely. I don’t think anyone really knows how a story takes shape. When it’s done you try to explain how it happened, but every effort, at least in my case, is insufficient. There is a before, made up of fragments of memory, and an after, when the story begins. But before and after, I have to admit, are useful only in answering your question now in an intelligible way.
- On being asked how she begins a new work in “Elena Ferrante, Art of Fiction No. 228” in The Paris Review (Spring 2015)
- I can’t give you a precise answer. It may have had its origin in the death of a friend of mine, or in a crowded wedding celebration, or perhaps in the need to return to themes and images of an earlier book, ‘The Lost Daughter.’ One never knows where a story comes from; it’s the product of a variety of suggestions that, together with others that you are not aware of and never will be, excite your mind.
- On her inspiration to write “My Brilliant Friend” in “In a rare interview, Elena Ferrante describes the writing process behind the Neapolitan novels” in Los Angeles Times (2018 May 17)
- No, I never plan my stories. A detailed outline is enough for me to lose interest in the whole thing. Even a brief oral summary makes the desire to write what I have in mind vanish. I am one of those who begin to write knowing only a few essential features of the story they intend to tell. The rest they discover line by line.
- On not planning her stories in advance in “In a rare interview, Elena Ferrante describes the writing process behind the Neapolitan novels” in Los Angeles Times (2018 May 17)
- I don’t know if my writing has the energy you say it does. Of course, if that energy exists, it’s because either it finds no other outlets or, consciously or not, I’ve refused to give it other outlets. Of course, when I write, I draw on parts of myself, of my memory, that are agitated, fragmented, that make me uncomfortable. A story, in my view, is worth writing only if its core comes from there.
- On being told that her writing is energeticin “In a rare interview, Elena Ferrante describes the writing process behind the Neapolitan novels” in Los Angeles Times (2018 May 17)
- I believe that they have put a spotlight on what women have always known and have always been more or less silent about. Patriarchal domination, even — despite appearances — in the West, is still very entrenched, and each of us, in the most diverse places, in the most varied forms, suffers the humiliation of being a silent victim or a fearful accomplice or a reluctant rebel or even a diligent accuser of victims rather than of the rapists. Paradoxically, I don’t feel that there are great differences between the women of the Neapolitan neighborhood whose story I told and Hollywood actresses or the educated, refined women who work at the highest levels of our socioeconomic system…
- On the #MeToo movement and the parallels between her characters and the plight of American women in “In a rare interview, Elena Ferrante describes the writing process behind the Neapolitan novels” in Los Angeles Times (2018 May 17)
- Certainly, female writing exists, but mainly because even writing is powerfully conditioned by the historical-cultural construction that is gender. That said, gender has an increasingly wide mesh, its rules have been relaxed, and it is more and more difficult to reconstruct what has influenced and formed us as writers…
- On the concept of “female writing” in “In a rare interview, Elena Ferrante describes the writing process behind the Neapolitan novels” in Los Angeles Times (2018 May 17)