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View Diary: HP Lovecraft and the fear of the unknown (64 comments)

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  •  I used to have a painter friend who went so far (0+ / 0-)

    as to insist that no artist should be judged on the basis of anything but his art, because the artist had so saved all the best of his personality for his art that he must be forgiven if, at the end of that Herculean effort, nothing was left of his personality but the dregs.  

    It was (and remains) an idea with a certain appeal to me, but boy, was it self-serving.  My own inclination is to hold artists to the same standards to which I hold everybody else.  Not that I'm a scold, I hope.  But I do find that when I know of a given artist that he or she was a terrible person (Wagner is a good example), it does influence my feelings about his or her art.  

    •  Were Lovecraft alive today, (0+ / 0-)

      and if he said what he did in public, I would feel absolutely no shame in refusing to promote him, because Art promotes ideas, and it's dangerous to allow ideas like that to go unchallenged.  If I believed that he were promoting dangerous ideas that might incite violence I would certainly not buy anything he produced.  If someone writes a book which is a brilliant story that suggests that the government be overthrown by force, I can oppose the work based on the idea it's proposing.  It isn't really about whether the book is well written any more.

      When an artist has passed away and is spoken of in historical terms, then I think all artists should be viewed differently, because progress is something that occurs in time.  If we look back critically, most of the people in history did things which would be utterly unacceptable today.  I think that it's fine to make note of that, because if you understand those things, it helps you to understand not only the book, but our own history.

      Ignorance more frequently begets confidence then knowledge. Charles Darwin

      by martianexpatriate on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 10:32:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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