Who am I to start a "Saturday Book Discussion"? Nobody -- start your own on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday if you like. ;)
So, literary Big Deal Nobel and Booker prize-winning Sir VS Naipaul (yeah, he even got a knighthood for his writing) says no woman is his literary equal
Diana Athill, the editor/author whose writing he dismissed as "feminine tosh," laughs
The Daily Beast says so what
, people have known for years Naipaul is a racist, classist, whore-mongering, physically abusive dickbag, but he still got a knighthood and a Nobel prize.
Thus the discussion topic (and a poll!): does knowing an author is a raving loon or just a really unpleasant person affect your willingness to read and/or buy their books? Do you separate the artist from their work? Or does finding out that an author whose books you once adored is actually a nasty bigot forever taint their work in your mind?
My own opinion:
If you find out an author fails badly as a person, will you stop reading that author?
Yes. Can't stand author!fails.
Only if the fail is apparent in their writing.
Not generally, though there are a few things I wouldn't forgive.
No. I might be disappointed, but I try to separate the author from their work.
I might still read them, but I'll go out of my way to avoid giving them any money.
I have a long enough TBR list as it is, so I don't mind filtering out the assholes. Hence I've never read anything by Orson Scott Card or John C. Wright, even though lots of people say their books are awesome and their bilious hatefulness is not apparent in their writing. However, I impose a statute of limitations that ends at the author's death. And I don't think there's much point trying to figure out which (if any) 19th century writers didn't
have views that would be considered noxious today.
I've never read anything by VS Naipaul, and don't intend to, unless I get assigned something by the books1001
challenge -- in which case, I'll make sure I get the book used.
What do you all think?ETA:
The Guardian has put up the Naipaul Test
: can you tell (as Naipaul claims to) whether an author is a man or a woman within a paragraph?
You scored 4 out of a possible 10
Sloppy thinking. You clearly need to read more books by men.