In these fame-hungry times, nothing stands out quite so starkly as the person who ticks the "no publicity" box. Although, of course, so much has been written about J D Salinger in the four decades years since he last published an original work of fiction that he must be the world's most familiar recluse.
Trawl through the memoirs, letters and unauthorised biographies and one can learn more about Salinger's extraordinary life than any number of publicity-seeking writers. Religious obsessions, affairs with students, dysfunctional family life: it's all been chronicled.
And Salinger's latest lawsuit to prevent the publication of a "sequel" to Catcher in the Rye has given everyone an excuse to write about him all over again.
One cannot help but wonder whether the only way Salinger is going to fulfil his dream of privacy is an application to star in his own reality television show.