Reviewing You... RevYou-ing.
Unfortunately this stumped me. I was no longer critiquing a Crap Looking Book of Which I'd Never Heard, but an offering from an author with whom I was now familiar, and had to constantly second guess myself to produce a review that while wholly subjective, was only subject to me, and not to any further outside influence.
Hitler liked to paint. We know this, and we look at his paintings and say "Hitler did those." Quite frankly, they're awful and inconsequential paintings that would have been ignored except for the fact that he was Hitler.
Lovelorn stalkers write poems. They're not the kind of poems you want to read, and they make for a damn uncomfortable narrative voice experiment when you try to emulate them. But without the identity of the author providing the foreknowledge that this is a Stalker Poem (a genre I have no intention of promoting), it's just an over-passionate, unnecessarily graphic love poem.
My point is that without the author the text is just a text. I could attack the characters as ridiculous, the settings as dull, and the plots as contrived or incomprehensible. However with the author's politics and bibliography in hand, the reading is sullied as I find myself seeing it not as a narrative in its own right, but as the weighted words of a man I don't really agree with, and have to constantly try my best not to see my reaction as personal difference. If I genuinely disagree with something the author says within the text, it's essential not to subsequently disregard that as a part of my pre-informed attitude towards them.
As a knock-on consequence, while writing I often find myself wondering and worrying if I am entrusting the text with too much intent and identity, and if wholly removed from any knowledge of me it would weakly collapse in on itself. Secondary to this I can't ignore that such public advertising of a review would mean there would be genuine fans, and perhaps the writer themselves reading the review, or at very least the preamble, and suddenly I'm writing for audience, trying to toe the line between my actual opinion and not pissing of a very specific readership.
I was free to be downright vicious about Linda Barnes' The Snake Tattoo, because I never imagined anyone would have read the book, never mind that she herself or anyone she knew would read the review, and I'd be free not to worry about wounding authorial pride or alienating a fanbase, and wouldn't present myself as a pedantic and unpublished dickhead, screaming at the mistakes and folly of others while weeping in the dark over my own lousiness.