On Public and Private

Jerome David (J. D.) Salinger died late last month and the Internet was instantly struck with grief for this intimately unfamiliar writer. As the B&N Review noted:"his death at 91 has lit up the online world of literary blogs and Twitter feeds with quotations, tributes, and a collective attempt to mark what felt like the epochal passing of the author of The Catcher in the Rye and Franny and Zooey.

 On the micro-blogging network Twitter, the science-fiction writer William Gibson, who tweets intimately to over 19,000 of his closest friends as @GreatDismal, offered a more cosmic observation about the deceased unknown celebrity:

GreatDismal: Salinger and the Streisand Effect: the singular potency of utter reclusivity. Black holes in the field of celebrity, their constant pull.11:49 AM Jan 28th from Brizzly

The "Streisand Effect" is a term invented by Mike Masnick, the founder of the technology website called Techdirt. Referring to the much-derided attempts in 2003 by Barbara Streisand to have photographs of her Californian house taken down from the Internet, Masnick described the "Streisand Effect" as the inevitable publicity associated with attempts to keep public information private....

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