Posted on 09/10/2018 at 12:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
Sometimes it seems easier to list off the beloved historical figures who haven’t been exposed as less-than-charming people than it does to name the baddies.
And then, of course, once you’ve learned that our heroes are in fact human, you face the question of whether to avoid their works in the future.
Happily, Nell Stevens has addressed this issue (as specifically relates to authors) in The Guardian, with a reasonable argument, in our view.
In her opinion, a monument celebrating a person “whose life work was to destroy the happiness or lives of others” deserves to be pulled down.
But a novel written by a person who, say, believed in the superiority of some races isn’t inherently a monument to that person or his/her beliefs.
So to continue reading A Christmas Carol or Great Expectations is not a tacit endorsement of Charles Dickens’s racism against Indians, in Stevens’s eyes.
Read the full essay here, and if you don’t agree with her opinion, then at the very least you’ll know which other authors to refuse to read.
And in related news, a recently discovered memoir by John Steinbeck's second wife, Gwyn Conger, depicts the novelist as a "sadistic man" and serial womanizer, according to The Guardian.
Categories: Today in Books