Do you judge writers?

Christopher Slater raises an interesting issue in this article entitled “Do you judge writers?” (https://ryanlanz.com/2017/02/16/do-you-judge-writers/)

My own view is that while it is difficult not to judge writers (their morals or lack of them), one should, so far as is humanly possible avoid doing so. A great writer remains so even if he (or she) was/is a terrible parent to their children or held/holds views with which most liberal (with a small l) individuals would disagree.

In this article for the Telegraph A N Wilson mentions the poet, Philip Larkin’s wish (expressed in his correspondence) to join the far-right National Front and Eliot’s anti-Semitism (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/3588935/World-of-books.html)

Wilson argues that we need to separate the author’s artistic creations from their views. This is a perspective with which I concur absolutely. We don’t have to share an author’s views to admire their work and if we only read those who concur with our perspectives our lives and the world in general would be a very arid place.

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6 thoughts on “Do you judge writers?

    1. drewdog2060drewdog2060 Post author

      Thank you for your comment. There is, I think, something within human nature which makes it almost inevitable that we will judge others to some extent at least. But, in the ideal world we should try not to do so, particulary when the judging pertains to writers. Kevin

      Reply
  1. Bonsai

    I particularly like his question as this happened to me a few days ago. A reviewer of my obsession memoir wrote this:

    “The author is sooooo very, very dislikable. The further I read the more I disliked. The entire book revolves around nothing but going back and forth from Michigan to Japan and getting involved with inappropriate Japanese men. She marries one and has two children with him. He is cruel and abusive. She divorces him and dumps the children with him so she can run off to Japan and try to snag a former boyfriend. Her behavior is totally f**ked up and it’s like she doesn’t even realize what a poor excuse she is as a mother, girlfriend, wife, human being.”

    The book is a story of a 21-year cultural bender and there are many references to co-dependency, abuse and terrible mind-numbing guilt and contant thoughts of suicide. I did relize and still do what a poor excuse I was as a mother and human being. I was always a good wife however. In any case, the point is that to telling an unflattering story about oneself takes a crap load of courage and most people have been kind. We should really consider that authors are human beings.

    Reply

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