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Love-hate relationship.

Written by Kirsten on September 28th, 2011

My brother is reading Ender’s Game, one of my absolute favorite books since I was his age, and it makes my heart happy. However.
I frequently struggle with the fact that the author of one of my favorite books is a known homo-hater. I know that if we restricted ourselves to art created by people who wouldn’t discriminate against us, we would miss out on a lot of incredible works of literature, graphic art, and music, not to mention that all artists’/authors’ opinions are not so widely known. So I compromise in the only way I know how – I purchase his books second-hand when possible, or if I really want one when it’s just published, I buy it from an indie bookseller (as I do with all new books).¬†What are your thoughts on the artist vs the art?


2 Comments so far ↓

  1. foggidawn says:

    I know what you mean! I found I am happier not knowing about my favorite authors’ personal beliefs and opinions a lot of the time. For example, I used to read Robin McKinley’s blog. Then, one day, she posted a rant about going to the opera or theatre and having to sit next to a woman who was overweight, and how miserable and uncomfortable this made her (McKinley — one can only speculate on the overweight woman’s feelings). She pretty much said that fat people should just stay home. Now, I’ve been to some venues where the seating was pretty tight, and I’m not exactly skinny. All I could think was, that could have been me, stuck in an uncomfortable seat, enduring the glares and sighs of the stranger sitting next to me. So, I decided that, though I generally enjoy McKinley’s writing, I’ll pass on reading her blog. I do still buy her books (though I trend to check them out at the library first, but that’s more about my limited book budget).

    Perhaps willful ignorance of an author or artist’s personal views isn’t the best solution, but on the other hand, it may be a good way to live and let live, particularly for people that I will most likely never meet or converse with in person.

    • Kirsten says:

      That’s exactly the sort of thing I mean; thanks for sharing, Foggi. Also, even if I weren’t gay, I’d be bothered by Card’s opinions as I’ve read them, and even if I weren’t fat, I’d be bothered by McKinley’s. Books are already filled with mostly white, able, fit, male protagonists unless their being “other” is the catalyst for the story (and that doesn’t happen often, either). We don’t need those characters to be, whether for lack of thought or willfully, discriminatory, especially given their influence on young readers.

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