Separating the Work From the Author

Let’s discuss a topic that everyone has already discussed.

If you’ve been in the online bookish community for a long time, then chances are you stumbled on this topic at some point in time. Everyone has talked about this and obviously, I’d like to put my two cents in, since I thought about it recently.

So the question is: can we separate the art from the artist? Can we not like a person and still enjoy their work? Well, my very simple answer to that question (or any question ever) is that it depends.

There are a lot of authors who I really dislike. They just for some odd reason get on my nerves. Sometimes there isn’t anything specific, I just hate their overall presence. Sometimes I can pinpoint the stuff I dislike about them. So the question is would I read their books? The answer is probably yes. In this situation, I can totally separate the two and be like I’ll read their book and see if I like it. There are books from people who annoy me that I enjoy and still read. Also, there’s a lot of drama that circles online and sometimes critiques of certain authors are blown way out of proportion.

However, if I hear that an author has some really harmful opinions and attitudes (any sort of hateful thing), I will probably be instantly turned off and chances are low that I would pick up their books. Still, even if I know these things and I really wanted to read the book before, there’s a possibility that I’ll pick it up. Whether or not I’ll be able to form an unbiased opinion on the book is a whole different matter. Of course, there is this whole different aspect to it: supporting the author you dislike. Effectively, if you are reading the books, you are supporting them, and that’s something I would have an issue with, especially if we are talking about the authors in this category.

l also feel like, in this day and age, we have so much access to an author’s life, more than we did before. They have platforms on which they speak out, and the readers have this need to connect with them. Which is really weird if you think about it. This wasn’t possible before. Which leads us to the question of modern classics and their authors and how we can separate those works from the authors and how today it’s increasingly hard to do so.

So, what’s the final verdict? It depends. There are a lot of things to consider. So I would love to hear your thoughts? What’s your opinion on this subject? Let me know! And don’t forget to enter the giveaway HERE.


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4 thoughts on “Separating the Work From the Author

  1. I kind of get this way with artists on deviantart. If it’s an opinion I really disagree with I find it really hard to enjoy their art. All I ever think about/associate with their work are those negative emotions tied to that opinion so I just can’t like it anymore. I had this happen with someone and I have pretty much stopped paying attention to their works. I haven’t really had this happen with an author but I think it would play out the same.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is an interesting topic. I don’t always know much about an author when I pick up their books, and I like that because I’m going into it totally fresh. But there are certain authors whose books I refuse to pick up because I can’t reconcile myself with their views on topics of importance to me (feminism, LGBTQIA+ rights). This means I do sometimes miss out on “the book everyone is talking about”, but if I don’t want to support an author then I won’t – for me it’s that important.
    But I recognise people have their own ways of dealing with such situations and have to make their own decisions, and I would never judge anyone for this.
    Thanks for the interesting post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your comment encompassed everything I wanted to discuss! My point was exactly that – sometimes you can separate it, but nowadays it’s getting harder to, since we know so much about the authors (their problematic stances on certain topics for example). And thank you!


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