“I Don’t Like That Writer Because He Was a Bad Person or Had a Terrible Philosophy”

You’re talking to a guy who has read all of Burroughs’ novels, so I don’t have an issue with objectionable content.

I also tend to think that fiction is devoid of morality. Fiction’s there to tell a story.

Maybe some writers have weird attitudes. Burroughs was a an obsessed homosexual who loved teenage boys and hated women. He shot his wife in the head and killed her while they were playing a game of drunken William Tell with a drink glass on her head. His books are full of explicit homosexual sex. I don’t agree with any of that, but I read them anyway. I sort of skipped over the gay sex parts, but even that was well-written.

I’m a writer so I read for style. I don’t think novelists should have any particular message. I’m trying hard to think of a novelist or poet whose message was truly toxic and I can’t think of one. Sade? Ok, there’s one. A lot of times I don’t agree with the writer’s point of view, but to me that doesn’t matter. I can read a negative book without feeling negative. I can read a depressing book without getting depressed.

McCarthy is supposed to be unspeakably bleak. McCullers was a dyke who probabably hated men. Pound was a narcissistic ass who later became a raving Nazi antisemite. Palahniuk is a degenerate homosexual who litters his books with gross gay sex.

Lots of writers are nutty, bipolar, depressive, or homosexual, often nutty and gay in the case of poets. Poets in particular are any of these things, and it’s incredible how many suicide out.

Roth, Rechy, Mailer, and Koszinski are or were narcissists. Vonnegut was a misanthropic monster who was cruel to everyone who knew him. Wallace and Miller tried to murder their girlfriends or wives. Miller, Mailer, and Bukowski were misogynistic pricks who treated women like dirt. Burroughs was a drug addict. Kerouac drank himself into the grave. Genet was a homosexual, a pimp, and a petty thief. Most of them were quite good writers, but I’m not into Bukowski too much.

A lot of people say that Hemingway was a bad person and this is why they don’t read his books. Hemingway was a lousy person? Lots of writers were terrible people.

Shakespeare was a monster. But that’s not why we read Hamlet!

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2 thoughts on ““I Don’t Like That Writer Because He Was a Bad Person or Had a Terrible Philosophy””

  1. Similar with many great musicians, classical and otherwise, artists etc.. Personally I am a hardcore anti-fascist and socialist who loves the music (not the philosophy) of Richard Wagner.

    1. This is great! It also shows that you are able to get beyond your ethnic or tribal affiliation and act as a human first and a member of an ethnic group second. It also shows that you are able to keep your emotions out of your appreciation of great art, which is fairly hard to do.

      Good show!

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