Jacob Siefring at The Quarterly Conversation:
However much the Formalists and New Critics insisted on maintaining an analytic gap between the work of literary interpretation and the life circumstances of authors, readers and reviewers generally expect a modicum of information about the author to come along with a book. Where such information is counterfactual, as in the case of pseudonymity or heteronymity, the situation is a little different, but fundamentally the same. The impulse toward biographical candor is not wholly dodged, as one might first think, but rather reinforced through a teasing gesture that only appears to oppose it. Pseudonymity calls attention to authorship and identity in ways that more conventional forms of attribution do not, and it generally has the effect of intensifying the curiosity and mystique which sometimes surrounds literary authorship.
In other words, textual signification is never only intrinsic to the text, but on the contrary always also framed by what information is known about its composition and provenance. A famous Borges story, “Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote,” pivots on this interplay between authorship/attribution and signification. The central character, a writer called Pierre Menard, develops an ambition to “produce a number of pages which coincided—word for word and line for line—with those of Miguel de Cervantes.” When the narrator of the story compares Menard’s fragments with the corresponding passages from Cervantes, he is awestruck by the differences of style that arise from attributing the text to either Cervantes or Menard.