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  1. #1

    Default The Author and Their Work?

    Can you seperate the author and their work? I have been thinking about reading Satre but I'm a little disappointed to find out how much of a dick he was, he pretty much is supposed to have had his existentialist compadre Simone de beauvoir procuring young women for him at one point, which make me wonder about the integrity of each and their works.

    I've also read a lot of Camus and know that he was kind of Satre's opponent for a bit, I think he was right to call bullshit on Satre's story writing about random shootings and absurdity when Satre was doing stuff like joining and supporting the communist party at the same time.

    I read Koestler before discovering he was a rapist and mysogynist but didnt finish the last one I was reading and got rid of the books, selling some of them for good money because they were rare but I just didnt want them in the house after I heard about his private life.

    Anyone else experience this kind of revulsion when the conduct of an author is so badly off the mark from what their works suggest?

  2. #2
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Can you seperate the author and their work?
    In circumstances such as the Satre example, yes; I don't think the hypocrisy of the messenger affects the validity of the message.

  3. #3
    Senior Member LeafAndSky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Anyone else experience this kind of revulsion when the conduct of an author is so badly off the mark from what their works suggest?
    Sometimes. If it's nonfiction how-to -- practical expertise -- then, no, who cares. In fiction, yes, sometimes the author's life or leanings directly affects my interest in reading. After all, fiction takes you inside someone else's head for a while, so the question is, do I want to spend time there? For philosophy or inspiration or etc., yes, I'm heavily influenced by the author's life. Not necessarily specifics, I'm a tolerant type, and after all, everyone's human, and there would be tons of people who wouldn't approve of my own choices in life I'm sure. No, not specifics as much as this general question: was the author happy? I will sometimes check out a more recent author on a youtube if available. 'A video is worth a thousand . . . book jackets and wikipedia bios.'

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeafAndSky View Post
    Sometimes. If it's nonfiction how-to -- practical expertise -- then, no, who cares. In fiction, yes, sometimes the author's life or leanings directly affects my interest in reading. After all, fiction takes you inside someone else's head for a while, so the question is, do I want to spend time there? For philosophy or inspiration or etc., yes, I'm heavily influenced by the author's life. Not necessarily specifics, I'm a tolerant type, and after all, everyone's human, and there would be tons of people who wouldn't approve of my own choices in life I'm sure. No, not specifics as much as this general question: was the author happy? I will sometimes check out a more recent author on a youtube if available. 'A video is worth a thousand . . . book jackets and wikipedia bios.'
    This is interesting, I've read and really enjoyed Dennis Wheatley's books, athough I've got to be honest I understand that a lot of them couldnt be reprinted now because of the politics, for instance tying black power to satanism and the spread of evil, but I liked his books.

    I think Orwell wrote about how right wing thinkers were good novelists generally and as a result had a greater hope of receiving a wider audience and influencing culture even if their books wound up pulp or forgotten.

    Its probably like the you are what you read thing, authors arent necessarily what they write either.

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