Dear readers, please welcome again author Darrell Drake! Today, he has a most interesting guest post for us on the conundrum of separating the merits of a work from the vagaries of the artist. Also, make sure to check out the GIVEAWAY of Drake’s forthcoming book at the bottom of this post. Also, check out the previous interview with Darrell.
The Art vs. The Artist
Does the person behind the work really matter? In a world dominated by social media and the desire to raise luminaries to celebrity status, I’ve asked myself this question many times.
I’ve seen literary accomplishments drained of prestige—at least conversationally—because of the reputation of the author behind them. Andrzej Sapkowski’s recent World Fantasy Award is a fresh example of readers conflating the author with the author’s work. It’s not necessary to go into detail, but the award was met with some criticism due to the public perception of the man.
Rather than being concerned solely with ferrying readers to worlds fantastic and spellbinding, authors are expected to make appearances, tramp through social media, and maintain a regular Internet presence. This is all well and good, but in doing so, it’s sometimes a task of smothering personality for the sake of appearing professional and avoiding backlash.
It is the firm belief of this author that the art should stand on its own, without condemnation or praise of the person behind it. Whether an author is a philanthropist or a psychopath has no bearing on what’s been written, unless it is intentionally imposed by the reader. If the reader can separate the art from the artist, or refrain from the connection to begin with, they’re free to simply read and enjoy—or don’t, if that’s the case—unhindered by irrelevant perceptions.
Centuries from now, it won’t matter who an artist offended on Twitter, whether they kowtowed to the right people, or whose approval they lost. The people of the future may spectulate and debate, but if a work of art survives the generations, it’ll stand or fall on its own merit.
Rather than getting caught up in judging an artist, perhaps we should skip to simply appreciating their work. Because that’s ultimately why we bother at all.
Darrell Drake has published four books, with A Star-Reckoner’s Lot being the latest. He often finds himself inspired by his research to take on new hobbies. Birdwatching, archery, stargazing, and a heightened interest in history have all become a welcome part of his life thanks to this habit.
Places to Find Darrell Drake
Ashtadukht is a star-reckoner. The worst there’s ever been. Witness her treacherous journey through Iranian legends and ancient history.
Only a brave few storytellers still relate cautionary glimpses into the life of Ashtadukht, a woman who commanded the might of the constellations—if only just, and often unpredictably. They’ll stir the imagination with tales of her path to retribution. How, fraught with bereavement and a dogged illness, she criss-crossed Sassanian Iran in pursuit of creatures now believed mythical. Then, in hushed tones, what she wrought on that path.
Darrell is giving away 3 ebook copies of his fantasy historical fiction novel, A Star-Reckoner’s Lot. Open internationally. Do the Rafflecopter thing below or answer these questions in the comments: 1) Do you find it possible to separate the art from the artist? An example? 2) Leave a way to contact you. Thanks! Giveaway ends September 30, 2016.