The Art and the Artist

How does one separate the two? I hate Orson Scott Card’s religious and political beliefs with a seething venom. However I do recognize that his book, Ender’s Game, is regarded as a masterpiece of teenage science fiction. Reading it is almost a requirement for any true sci-fi fan (note that I’ve never read it). The trailer for the upcoming movie version even looks interesting.

But…dammit. The man is so disgustingly vile that the idea of putting any money into his pockets makes me want to throw up.

Now there’s been other artists who’ve been really reprehensible people. Walt Disney, for example, has long had a reputation for being an anti-Semite. Yet I can watch things he made, or other things from the corporation that bears his name, and be just fine with it. So why am I ok with that and not with Card? Why would I watch and enjoy Sleeping Beauty, but will likely avoid Ender’s Game?

I think it boils down to the fact that Disney is dead. He died before I was even born, and the current corporation that manages his properties bears no resemblance to him. In that sense, the art is separated from the artist by time and mortality.

Perhaps that is what is required here. Perhaps once Card is dead, something I can’t and won’t wish to happen soon, then perhaps maybe I could see this movie or read his books and enjoy them. But until that point…no. Just…no.


4 Responses to “The Art and the Artist”

  1. Robert Palsma Says:

    It’s very simple. Read the book, see the movie, whatever… Is it good? Enjoy it. Is it not? Don’t enjoy it and perhaps use the author’s horrible political/religious/social views as further reason to dislike it.

    You know there’s a list of people I can’t stand. I have no issue enjoying their works. I will try to avoid paying for them and therefore giving these people money, but you can buy most things second hand and solve that problem.

    (Ender’s Game is a good book. If you need further reason to hate the man read the sequel and… everything else. Eek.)

    • arthurthepanther Says:

      Indeed. used bookstores are wonderful things, no? Sounds to me like that would be the ultimate revenge – getting to read this masterpiece child born of a drunken bleating bigoted bastard of an author – without acknowledging him at all financially.

  2. Jeff Jones Says:

    Perhaps this will help to ease your mind… OSC has been living for several years in Greensboro, NC (my old hometown), and writing a column for a weekly newspaper that leans on the conservative side. As of last week, the paper has shut down due to lack of funding. According to reports, their website is still up, but it’s a matter of time before that is pulled also.

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