I call them persona art. You enter an already established persona, and work from their viewpoint. I think the formula is PERSONA + WRITER = A THIRD THING. You aren’t trying to write of the celebrity/persona/entity, but rather through it.
I am recalling a Sontag quote about not writing to find the self, but to escape the self.
Sometimes maybe the persona visits the narrator, like in Dan Chaon’s smart text, “Raymond Carver.”
I am wondering if you have a favorite persona piece (For me, Michael Martone writing through Dan Quayle)? Martone uses persona to actually bend the wirings of truth/untruth. Or, as he says…
“I want to think of what I do as writing and let the speciation to others. Many artists draw, use watercolor, paint in oils, sculpt, construct, assemble, paste. They mix their media but it is all seen as art, and issues of its fact or fiction seem beside the point to me. Well at least beside the point when the thing is in the making. I am in the fabrication business and there are different gradients on that scale of fiction and non-, I suppose, but none I worry about as I am doing them. I have a fiction in the voice of Dan Quayle who is writing an essay; a book about Michael Martone written by Michael Martone in the voice and form of his, Michael Martone’s, biographer; I have an essay in the voice of Michael Martone on the fictional creation of a character named Bobby Knight. To me the differences are in the details at a microscopic scale, not at the much larger one of genre.”
(Full wicked interview here)
How did I head down this treacherous path?
Do you write persona? Why, or why not? Do so. Now.