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L'Ecole des filles ou la Philosophie des dames (1655) - Anonymous [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
The first classic of modern erotic literature, L'Ecole des filles (shown above) of 1655 -- like so many similar works after it -- was published anonymously. Anonymous pamphlets played an important role in the political culture of eighteenth century France. In Forbidden Bestsellers Robert Darnton points out that some of the most radical printed texts of the Enlightenment had no author. "They were the public discussing. They expressed the on dit, or talk of the town. Pierre Marteau for instance, was one of those clandestine publishers.
Anonymity is a result of not having identifying characteristics (such as a name or description of physical appearance) disclosed. This can occur from a lack of interest in learning the nature of such characteristics, or through intentional efforts to hide these characteristics. An example of the former would include a brief encounter with a stranger, when learning the other person's name is not deemed necessary. An example of the latter would include someone hiding behind clothing that covers identifying features like hair color, scars, or tattoos, in order to avoid identification.
In some cases, anonymity is reached unintentionally, as is often the case with victims of crimes or war battles, when a body is discovered in such a state that the physical features used to identify someone are no longer present. Anonymity is not always found in such morbid situations, however. As an example, a winner of a lottery jackpot is anonymous (one of however many play the lottery) until that person turns in the winning lottery ticket. Many acts of charity are performed anonymously, as well, as benefactors do not wish, for whatever reason, to be acknowledged for their action.
There are many reasons why a person might choose to obscure their identity and become anonymous. Several of these reasons are legal and legitimate - someone, for example, who feels threatened by someone else might attempt to hide from the threat behind various means of anonymity. There are also many illegal reasons to hide behind anonymity. Criminals typically try to keep themselves anonymous in order to avoid capture. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anonymity [Feb 2005]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_anonymously_published_works [Feb 2005]
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