It has come to our attention, via comments we’ve seen online and in various emails we’ve received, that people are very interested in the identities of whoever is behind > kill author. The editors, if that’s what you want to call us.
In planning > kill author, we agreed from the very start to pursue a policy of remaining anonymous. The absence of a masthead anywhere on these pages is entirely deliberate, not an omission. We made this decision primarily because we believe that an over-familiarity with the personalities and egos behind a literary journal can have a negative impact both on a reader’s ability to objectively appreciate the fiction and poetry he or she finds published on its pages, and on writers submitting their work, who may find themselves unduly influenced by the stature (or notoriety) of the editorial team lurking behind the scenes, rather than considering the style, tone and approach of the publication itself.
We want to let our artistic aims and our literary preferences—as well, of course, as the writing we feature in this journal—speak for themselves, without the distraction of editorial names and reputations being attached, or concerns about whether these figures are ‘famous’ or ‘not famous’. That, too, is the whole reasoning behind the title we chose for the journal and the Roland Barthes quote we display in our footer as a guiding principle: “The birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the author” (though you may wish to replace the word ‘author’ with ‘editor’). It’s also why the content we choose for each issue will be so vital, perhaps even more than is usual, in helping potential contributors decide what they should submit to us.
We never imagined, however, that our decision to remain anonymous would cause such a reaction. In some ways, we think the undue interest in who we are confirms our general belief that, as in so much of contemporary culture, the internet literary scene has fallen under the 21st century spell of the ‘cult of personality’. But to put minds at rest, we are able to categorically deny all of the following rumours:
- The editors of > kill author are not robots. We are not the product of some cutting-edge technology designed to discover whether artificial intelligence can select and edit content for a literary journal.
- We are not scouts from a leading publishing house, working undercover to find the best undiscovered literary talent. If that’s what you hoped, then we’re sorry to disappoint you.
- We are not the first ominous action in an insidious plan to destabilize the internet literary scene and cause internecine warfare.
- We are not who you think we are. Though we might be. Even if we are, try not to think about it too much. It will only prematurely age you.
Having denied each of the above, we are able to confirm that all we’re here to do is showcase writing which moves us, challenges us and makes us sit up and take notice—and that’s something we feel we can do better by remaining anonymous. There is no other agenda.