Friday, February 23, 2007

Are good authors always good people?

Why do we so often assume that good authors should be good themselves, asks on The Guardian Books Blog?
It is not only that we expect writers to navigate the choppy waters of moral confusion; we expect them to be good in private. The Bloomsberries slept with everyone with a pulse; now, there is a huge fuss if a writer so much as changes his agent. William Boyd is almost as famous for his happy marriage as he is for his novels. If Zadie Smith decided to make like the Beats, ingesting every substance known to man and getting into bar brawls, there would probably be questions asked in the House.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I don't understand the argument that a good writer has to be a Good Person at all. I mean, I love Yeats' poetry, but his penchant for fascism, not so much. And it can work the other way too - a writer who's an undeniably decent human being, who produces work that's decidedly average - should you get brownie points for being on the side of the angels? I don't think so.


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