Re: The identity of the author... and his books

#41

CookieCabal Wrote: To come back to Frazetta, I have never heard of Frazetta and I am sure he won't be remembered in a 1000 years (there are just too many people, and school books have only so much space). Was he aware of that fact?
If not, he was a fool. If he was aware, he might have genuinely realized how bad most other painters were. Like Shakespeare cringing at our poetry.

No. He most certainly saw himself as the best artist of his generation and likely of the generations that immediately preceded and followed. If I could sum it up it would be something like "I'm special. Nobody is like me, nobody can do the things I can do."

That said, he definitely made a huge mark on the field of fantasy illustration. Conan would be nothing but a minor footnote if it was not for his covers. Basically every Conan comic, movie or derivative work is based on the strength of those covers. The books were almost completely ignored by the public until they were reissued years later with Frazetta's covers. So, is it an accomplishment worthy of history remembering? Probably not. But he certainly shifted and shaped much of the popular culture of his time. Most current fantasy artists will acknowledge Frazetta as an influence to some degree or another. Many popular artists (like Boris Vallejo) rode on his coattails to prominence. However, if you are not into fantasy art you probably would never even notice him.

Re: The identity of the author... and his books

#42

carebear90 Wrote: Back when I studied literature, nearly every professor I had taught 'the death of the author'. Meaning, if you judge a book, pretend the author is long dead and you know absolutely nothing about them or their other works that aren't directly related to the particular book. 
Why would you do that? I mean, it is clearly possible to draw more or less accurate conclusions towards the author's psyche. Especially if you have a biography next to you and all their other works. 
But we were supposed to analyse the book, not the author. We weren't supposed to ask what the author wanted to tell us, but what the story was telling us. 
And if the story is free of any spoonfed propaganda crap, I don't care at all who its author is. If I enjoy it, I look for more stuff from the same author, but not because I like their personality or them as a person. I like their craft. I don't have to like the person I buy my groceries from either. 

Of course, there is also a tendency of some 'so-called critics' to draw connections where there really aren't any. Most fictional books don't have an 'author self-insert character'. And if they have, it usually isn't the main protagonist. 
I don't know how many slating 'reviews' I've seen that were mostly a giant character assassination of the author based on the beliefs of the main protagonist at the beginning of a story. As if they never heard of character development or the author is not the narrator is not the character. But I guess this is pretty much off-topic here.
Apologies.

Conclusion:
I read a book for the book's sake, not the author's. I wouldn't read a crap book simply because I like the author as a person. And I wouldn't deprive myself of a good book simply because I dislike the author as a person. 
So if there is no valid reason to not buy the book of a specific author, (like them using the money to fund some crazy political campaign or buying gasoline to burn rainforests every weekend for shits and giggles,) I simply don't care. They produced something I enjoyed. It wasn't poisoned (I really liked that analogy), so I reimburse them for it.


I studied literature in college as well.
And my professors used to say "If you want to understand the book, you need to know the author's biography and events that may have influenced his worldview".
So, the approach to education was different )))

Re: The identity of the author... and his books

#43

Silvia Wrote:
carebear90 Wrote: Back when I studied literature, nearly every professor I had taught 'the death of the author'. Meaning, if you judge a book, pretend the author is long dead and you know absolutely nothing about them or their other works that aren't directly related to the particular book. 
Why would you do that? I mean, it is clearly possible to draw more or less accurate conclusions towards the author's psyche. Especially if you have a biography next to you and all their other works. 
But we were supposed to analyse the book, not the author. We weren't supposed to ask what the author wanted to tell us, but what the story was telling us. 
And if the story is free of any spoonfed propaganda crap, I don't care at all who its author is. If I enjoy it, I look for more stuff from the same author, but not because I like their personality or them as a person. I like their craft. I don't have to like the person I buy my groceries from either. 

Of course, there is also a tendency of some 'so-called critics' to draw connections where there really aren't any. Most fictional books don't have an 'author self-insert character'. And if they have, it usually isn't the main protagonist. 
I don't know how many slating 'reviews' I've seen that were mostly a giant character assassination of the author based on the beliefs of the main protagonist at the beginning of a story. As if they never heard of character development or the author is not the narrator is not the character. But I guess this is pretty much off-topic here.
Apologies.

Conclusion:
I read a book for the book's sake, not the author's. I wouldn't read a crap book simply because I like the author as a person. And I wouldn't deprive myself of a good book simply because I dislike the author as a person. 
So if there is no valid reason to not buy the book of a specific author, (like them using the money to fund some crazy political campaign or buying gasoline to burn rainforests every weekend for shits and giggles,) I simply don't care. They produced something I enjoyed. It wasn't poisoned (I really liked that analogy), so I reimburse them for it.


I studied literature in college as well.
And my professors used to say "If you want to understand the book, you need to know the author's biography and events that may have influenced his worldview".
So, the approach to education was different )))

It's my assumption that the primary aspects one needs to know about the author are the ones the author reveals through their writing. Therefore, these views aren't as dissimilar as they first appear.


A skilled author will reveal just as much of themselves in their writing as they want to reveal. They may then extrapolate any number of points from that root foundation, either true to reality or not.

This is especially true when reading fiction.

It is neither fully "understand the author" (as even an autobiography will not provide a complete revelation) or "assume the author will present in their writing the full scope of what you should know" (as all writing has implicit bias and prejudice).

In other words, there is no doubt that all writing comes from an author's psyche or they couldn't have written it. There is also not doubt that writing has a specific contextual intent. Both of these things are why the art of writing is ultimately subjective.

As an example, see the prior post on Brandon Sanderson's writing versus Robert Jordan's writing. I know many people who legitimately love the later Wheel of Time novels. It isn't because they have no taste, but because their sense of taste is different. Others may reject Brandon's writing because of their own bias, reading preferences, or stylistic taste.

The only safe conclusion is that there is a distinctly unstable formula where the author's style and content meshes well with the readers appreciation and interpretation.

To use layman's terms, "You can't please everyone."

Thanks,
Jason

Re: The identity of the author... and his books

#44
Ya, dunno.  Generally. if I pick up a lot of stuff from a work that pushes in a weird direction, looks odd or espouses crippled viewpoints, I just stop reading their work. I don't particularly like reading bios, and really have no interest in circulating within their social circles, however elitist or bohemian they are. I've my own, which for better or worse change from time to time as I move, gain new interests or loose others, and yes, as people change. I accord others the same rights and accept that personalities differ, but that is a separate issue from what I like to read.  Frazetta styled art makes for great poster art, and likely will decorate one thing or another for the next century or so from books and coffee mugs to t-shirts and internet backgrounds.  I don't think they will make it to the Louvre, save as examples of modern popular fantasy art, but yeah. its something to be proud of. Any accomplishment is something to be proud of.  If the person also becomes famous in his own mind, that's sad, but lots of things are.

Re: The identity of the author... and his books

#45

Silvia Wrote: I studied literature in college as well.
And my professors used to say "If you want to understand the book, you need to know the author's biography and events that may have influenced his worldview".
So, the approach to education was different )))

Oh, definitely. 

As I said, 'nearly every professor I had'. There also were two who preferred the approach you mentioned. One of them was more of a linguist though. They focused very much on interpretations of the author's intent, often concluding stuff you would never have been able to back up if you only took the text you were actually analysing as source. 
Sometimes it was enlightening and sometimes it was very much a 'reading more into the text than was actually there'.
In both cases, it wasn't solely the one story that was examined anymore. The story didn't stand for itself, wasn't judged by its own merits. 
The 'death of the author' is mainly a technique to avoid 'judging a book by its author's name'. A bit like 'judging a book by its cover'.
So, if a conclusion you draw from the text is only viable when you know the author's living situation and preferences at the time they wrote it, it may as well not be there. It's no doubt interesting, but if the text by itself doesn't support it, can we really be sure that it was intended as a valid interpretation or did we merely find a coincidental or accidental similarity and read too much into it? 

I don't mean to say that trying to figure out the intent of the author isn't a valid approach. It is. It is simply not the only one. It also largely depends on your goal. 
If it is just to read and have fun with a story, I prefer the 'death of the author'. Looking at the story in a vacuum. Which is why the personality of a particular author doesn't keep me from or encourages me to read their books. ;)

On the other hand, a story can mean far more than the author may have originally intended.
As an example: I never cared for J.K. Rowling's later reveals about details to her characters and their motivations. If they aren't apparent in the books, they may as well not exist. I don't want to say that they aren't viable. They simply narrow down and exclude other possible interpretations. Which gives us an author who 'cripples' her own story by reducing the potential width. So I simply stopped minding them. Sure, she wrote the books, but is a certain interpretation less valid just because she said so? 
So... do I care that Hermione Granger was supposedly an idealised author-self-insert? Not particularly. ^^

Re: The identity of the author... and his books

#46

Quote:Brandon Sanderson is a Mormon, and he teaches at a Mormon university. In order to attend that school, you are required to sign a "sexual purity" contract. You agree that you won't engage in sex while you attend the school. Why? the Church of Mormon decreed it. Mormons have a bizarre fixation on sex and sexuality. 



The most hilarious part about this is Sanderson wrote one of the crudest lines I've ever read in literature:


Quote:A: You insult my mother. You know how hard she worked to raise me to be the best soldier this kingdom has ever known.
B: Yes, from what I understand, she spent the seven months she was with child entertaining each and every military man she could find, in the hopes that something of them would stick to you.


The more you think about it and the more you re-read it the worse and worse it gets, like an onion of awful. It's like oh my god, how the fuck did a Mormon write this! 🤣😂🤣





Re: The identity of the author... and his books

#47
Jason_Lienholt Wrote:
Silvia Wrote:
carebear90 Wrote: Back when I studied literature, nearly every professor I had taught 'the death of the author'. Meaning, if you judge a book, pretend the author is long dead and you know absolutely nothing about them or their other works that aren't directly related to the particular book. 
Why would you do that? I mean, it is clearly possible to draw more or less accurate conclusions towards the author's psyche. Especially if you have a biography next to you and all their other works. 
But we were supposed to analyse the book, not the author. We weren't supposed to ask what the author wanted to tell us, but what the story was telling us. 
And if the story is free of any spoonfed propaganda crap, I don't care at all who its author is. If I enjoy it, I look for more stuff from the same author, but not because I like their personality or them as a person. I like their craft. I don't have to like the person I buy my groceries from either. 

Of course, there is also a tendency of some 'so-called critics' to draw connections where there really aren't any. Most fictional books don't have an 'author self-insert character'. And if they have, it usually isn't the main protagonist. 
I don't know how many slating 'reviews' I've seen that were mostly a giant character assassination of the author based on the beliefs of the main protagonist at the beginning of a story. As if they never heard of character development or the author is not the narrator is not the character. But I guess this is pretty much off-topic here.
Apologies.

Conclusion:
I read a book for the book's sake, not the author's. I wouldn't read a crap book simply because I like the author as a person. And I wouldn't deprive myself of a good book simply because I dislike the author as a person. 
So if there is no valid reason to not buy the book of a specific author, (like them using the money to fund some crazy political campaign or buying gasoline to burn rainforests every weekend for shits and giggles,) I simply don't care. They produced something I enjoyed. It wasn't poisoned (I really liked that analogy), so I reimburse them for it.


I studied literature in college as well.
And my professors used to say "If you want to understand the book, you need to know the author's biography and events that may have influenced his worldview".
So, the approach to education was different )))

It's my assumption that the primary aspects one needs to know about the author are the ones the author reveals through their writing. Therefore, these views aren't as dissimilar as they first appear.


A skilled author will reveal just as much of themselves in their writing as they want to reveal. They may then extrapolate any number of points from that root foundation, either true to reality or not.

This is especially true when reading fiction.

It is neither fully "understand the author" (as even an autobiography will not provide a complete revelation) or "assume the author will present in their writing the full scope of what you should know" (as all writing has implicit bias and prejudice).

In other words, there is no doubt that all writing comes from an author's psyche or they couldn't have written it. There is also not doubt that writing has a specific contextual intent. Both of these things are why the art of writing is ultimately subjective.

As an example, see the prior post on Brandon Sanderson's writing versus Robert Jordan's writing. I know many people who legitimately love the later Wheel of Time novels. It isn't because they have no taste, but because their sense of taste is different. Others may reject Brandon's writing because of their own bias, reading preferences, or stylistic taste.

The only safe conclusion is that there is a distinctly unstable formula where the author's style and content meshes well with the readers appreciation and interpretation.

To use layman's terms, "You can't please everyone."

Thanks,
Jason

I have one small issue on this as a pure technicality. If you haven’t read it, I’m pretty sure I explained it enough in my other post, but in my opinion, not all writing comes from the authors psyche in the case of things such as DID, mental illnesses, or mental disturbances. 
in the case of DID, previously referred to as MPD, or dissociative identity disorder and multiple personality disorder respectively, then every single thing changes.
there are a few counter arguments to be made, or it can be written off due to its rarity in being able to apply here, but most of those arguments I can probably explain further on.
for one thing, with DID, it depends on what type you have, and it’s severity. As is probably common knowledge by now, separate personalities are sometimes unaware of the other. Usually it’s the main personality who doesn’t seem aware of the other people who take control of their body, and go to check on it under the assumption of it being periods of noticeable amnesia or similar circumstances. 
now, one very interesting thing about these personalities is that they are 100% different from the others. Now, often they try their best to seem normal, and often nobody suspects anything, so there’s a pretty good chance DID is a lot more common than we thought. But they themselves tend to be pretty self aware. They also have a completely different perspective, set of memories, and subsequently, a whole different amount of knowledge and experience.
it can even be so extreme as for one to know an entirely different language than the other personalities, of which they don’t know a damn thing about.
now, a good argument against this could be that “oh, that means they are different people, so it doesn’t count.”.
now, this isn’t necessarily correct. While yes, they seem different, they are, in essence, the same person from the base. DID often occurs as a coping method due to trauma from a young age. Meaning there is an original person, and every personality is developed with that. So, same person different person.
this is dumb, right? Well, no. Not much is known about the specifics of DID or similar such problems. So this could very well have an explanation cementing it in fact, or something that does the exact opposite.
i mean, they actually corrected the entire thing from MPD to DID because of a few issues. So it’s not unreasonable.
”wait, but isn’t the main personality called that because it’s the main personality?” 
well, yes and no. One personality is just naturally a lot more active, and switching can take from a few seconds to entire months, which introduces a whole slew of new issues I will not address here for the sake of time. And if you take into consideration the fact that most of the time the other personalities can hide themselves so well that the literal only clue is amnesia, a lot more people may have it. Now, yes, the main personality is the one who is often completely oblivious, and the one who is in control most of the time. But what the difference between them is isn’t exactly clear. Other than knowledge and behavioral changes, which makes them seem like a different person. In the end, it can both be that person and/or a different person at the same time, making a nightmarish mess of trying to figure out how the authors psyche would apply in writing for a separate personality.
i omitted quite a lot. Like, a LOT.
and that’s only focusing on DID, not even the other things I’ve mentioned in addition.
if I got anything wrong, let me know, but I’ll say this again, because I find it VERY concerning
Again, DID might be waaaaay more common than we thought, since a lot of people have trouble figuring it out from both the inside and the outside perspective, and a lot of people don’t even go to get it checked out. This has started to emerge as an extremely important issue in determining the actual number of people with a variety of different mental illnesses, and we usually only have the ones who have been officially diagnosed and registered for reference. In my experience, there is probably a lot more people who have undiagnosed mental issues that just go unchecked. One of my friends displays signs that pretty much scream a few things(not going into detail for obvious reasons, but was never diagnosed due to family thinking it unimportant. This caused a lot of mental stress on them, especially since they weren’t able to get any accommodations to help them at all).
this is a lot more common than anyone would have ever believed. Hell, you might even have it and not realize, because you never thought about it or never talked about it, or never had it checked out. For example, depression is a pretty interesting one. There are some people who are extremely depressed, yet they show no signs at all. In fact, if you asked anyone who didn’t know anything, they would say some looked like the most cheerful people around. A lot in part due to them wanting to actively make things, or try to make things, happier for themselves as well. And then, out of nowhere, you hear something horrible. Your friend, one of the happiest people you knew, died. They killed themselves, and it’s only then. Only after it’s too late, that people actually look closer. When they do, they realize the signs were always there. And that a lot had also been going on that they weren’t aware of. 
it sucks.
the mind is not a simple thing, and you don’t necessarily control yourself all the time.
the most some people can do is just try.
then they fail, again and again.
eventually, it becomes too hard for them, more than they can deal with.
it hurts just to live.
i know that feeling well. Personally, I’m only here due to my strict beliefs and principles. My goal. Otherwise, if you ask me?
i would have easily ended it, long ago.
there is no doubt in my mind of that.

Re: The identity of the author... and his books

#48


Hey,

Good on ya for keeping on!  peoapproval

In the case of DID, to my understanding, there are different degrees of distinction between the personalities, but the personalities were derived from a unified psyche at some point. It is my understanding that different traits are manifested or suppressed by the degree of relation to the whole psyche and the other traits manifested in each personality. Does that sound correct? I'd love to learn more.

This is my understanding: There is one "main personality" that retains greater relation to the whole psyche. The secondary personalities can often be extreme in some traits due to the loss of suppression. Q.E.D. The whole psyche is a well balanced individual. The triggering event(s) occurs resulting in a primary personality and a secondary personality. The primary personality is still a fairly well balanced individual, and even may be identical to the whole psyche. The secondary personality(s) generally is less stable, unstable, or extremely unstable depending on the severity of their dissociation with the whole psyche and the primary personality. In most cases, there is some degree of "psychological drift" in the stability of the secondary personalities. (To use an obviously under-emphatic allegory, it's like having a cut that sometimes heals, but then could split open if aggravated- sometimes the cut is partially there, sometimes it isn't there at all, and sometimes it is as bad as it gets.)

That said, this is obviously not my profession or my specialty. I assure you that I believe that no one should be judged based on their psychological maladies. We've all got them, some just have it harder than others. If you ever need to talk at/to someone, feel free to send me a PM. I assure you I'll keep an open mind, not take offense, and listen well.

When I said "psyche" in the prior posts I was speaking in more general terms. I was simply pointing out that writing is a product of the mind and can not be done without the mind and personality of the author attached to it.

Even in the case of my darkest villain, their behavior comes from my psyche. I may repress those behaviors in real life because they are unacceptable, immoral, disgusting, or horrifying, but I still comprehend that they are minor aspects somewhere within myself. When I write my villains, I take those demons and expand them to the millionth degree. Then I extrapolate in my mind what outcome that would have on their logic and function. 

Raising my voice in a traffic jam in real life becomes the villain murdering the fourteen guards at the gate for delaying his entry to the city. Likewise, that one time I gave a neighbor an aspirin becomes a priestess sacrificing her life to heal a plague-ridden town. Simply put, if I can't conceive of something, I would be unable to write about it.

Even if I were to write about a historic character, that personality in history would be subject to my interpretation bias, and therefore would be filtered through my psyche. The only way around this is if the writing is pure statistics and math, or a compendium of facts.

Thank you,
Jason

Re: The identity of the author... and his books

#49
Jason_Lienholt Wrote: Hey,

Good on ya for keeping on!  peoapproval

In the case of DID, to my understanding, there are different degrees of distinction between the personalities, but the personalities were derived from a unified psyche at some point. It is my understanding that different traits are manifested or suppressed by the degree of relation to the whole psyche and the other traits manifested in each personality. Does that sound correct? I'd love to learn more.

This is my understanding: There is one "main personality" that retains greater relation to the whole psyche. The secondary personalities can often be extreme in some traits due to the loss of suppression. Q.E.D. The whole psyche is a well balanced individual. The triggering event(s) occurs resulting in a primary personality and a secondary personality. The primary personality is still a fairly well balanced individual, and even may be identical to the whole psyche. The secondary personality(s) generally is less stable, unstable, or extremely unstable depending on the severity of their dissociation with the whole psyche and the primary personality. In most cases, there is some degree of "psychological drift" in the stability of the secondary personalities. (To use an obviously under-emphatic allegory, it's like having a cut that sometimes heals, but then could split open if aggravated- sometimes the cut is partially there, sometimes it isn't there at all, and sometimes it is as bad as it gets.)

That said, this is obviously not my profession or my specialty. I assure you that I believe that no one should be judged based on their psychological maladies. We've all got them, some just have it harder than others. If you ever need to talk at/to someone, feel free to send me a PM. I assure you I'll keep an open mind, not take offense, and listen well.

When I said "psyche" in the prior posts I was speaking in more general terms. I was simply pointing out that writing is a product of the mind and can not be done without the mind and personality of the author attached to it.

Even in the case of my darkest villain, their behavior comes from my psyche. I may repress those behaviors in real life because they are unacceptable, immoral, disgusting, or horrifying, but I still comprehend that they are minor aspects somewhere within myself. When I write my villains, I take those demons and expand them to the millionth degree. Then I extrapolate in my mind what outcome that would have on their logic and function. 

Raising my voice in a traffic jam in real life becomes the villain murdering the fourteen guards at the gate for delaying his entry to the city. Likewise, that one time I gave a neighbor an aspirin becomes a priestess sacrificing her life to heal a plague-ridden town. Simply put, if I can't conceive of something, I would be unable to write about it.

Even if I were to write about a historic character, that personality in history would be subject to my interpretation bias, and therefore would be filtered through my psyche. The only way around this is if the writing is pure statistics and math, or a compendium of facts.

Thank you,
Jason

<3
one of the important things is it does indeed vary from person to person.
i appreciate the kindness, as well. It warms my heart whenever I see people act kindly, and this is no exception. However, thankfully I don’t really have much I actually have to talk about in that regard. Other than the reason I keep going, which I can lecture about for at least half an hour straight without a break before realizing everyone else was lost after a few words in. But it is a good idea to always extend a hand to those in need, so I seriously respect that. In that regard, I must admit that on royal road, there are quite a few people here who I deeply respect for their enthusiasm and effort in this amazing community. It wouldn’t be the RR it is today, without people like you. Seriously, I think you guys probably help a lot more people than you realize. On top of that, you keep helping.





on the topic of psyche though, I do admit it is rather dumb, but I wonder about scientific applications of something similar to what is usually referred to as a soul. If so, I wonder how you would test making someone’s soul yell at said traffic. Everything I stated for the most part was also off of memory. So I probably got a few parts wrong. Other than the adamant belief that everyone is unique, and therefore how things affect them are also unique.
it reminds me of exotic matter. Or rather, one of the main things behind the general idea of exotic matter. It’s any form of matter that doesn’t behave like normal matter if I remember correctly. Though, I do know that it’s typically used as a more broad term for non-Baryonic matter. But exotic matter is simply any form of matter that doesn’t behave like normal matter. In other words, it can theoretically do anything. Yeah, long stretch, but the technicality wins out in the end. It makes anything possible. I like to imagine it as the ultimate deus ex machina(I think that’s the correct term). Basically reality itself can just make anything happen for any bullshit reason. Forget the butterfly effect and trying to calculate that to figure out how the universe works, try calculating dark matter in addition to that. How would it work? Would it change the progression of events in any way? Thing is, we don’t know. Dark matter is a form of exotic matter, and we don’t completely understand it. Meaning all the sci-fi stuff that has things like dark matter bombs can, technically, exist. Usually the universe would have to pull some seriously weird shit out of its ass to do that, though. But that means nothing is absolute, and all science is, technically, a theory. Reality could break at any second, and something impossible could just....become possible. That means it’s theoretically able to be applied for scientific fields such as medical or similar cases. Though since we can barely calculate it in full anyway, it’s probably not that. It’s just something we don’t fully understand. But that’s fine. People are actively looking for ways to help others, be it in a more general way like furthering research, or comforting people with therapy and medicine. That much alone gives me solace. So seriously, thanks to anyone who has ever helped, even indirectly.
That’s about all I really need to say. Just, thanks. Thank you. Thank you all. Have a great day, too.
:D

Re: The identity of the author... and his books

#50
The only author I ever lost faith in was Aleron Kong. Not because of how he acts, although it's easy to tell the guy is full of himself. Anyone who calls themself Dr. and the Father of American LitRPG on the cover of their book is expected to be a bit conceited. 

I looked past this character flaw because his books 'The Land Founding' series were interesting. Then he did something an author should never do and wrote a shit book to either get out of a contract or finish up a series he no longer wanted to write. Trust me don't read book eight. 

The next book in the series, assuming he ever writes it, could be the most amazing book ever and I won't buy it. I won't give this man another penny because of his lack of respect for his audience.

Re: The identity of the author... and his books

#51
I deliberately try to learn as little about authors as possible.  I avoid reading blurbs at the back of books, I avoid reading little bios, I avoid personal details as much as I possibly can.  To me, knowing more about the author taints the experience in some way.  It's a personal preference, but I've gone a very long while reading very many books while learning little about the people who wrote them except through reading their work.  

I will say that I've learned personal details of many authors and they're pretty much who I thought they were from their writing.  An amazing amount comes through.  I guessed Brandon Sanderson was Mormon just from Wheel of Time, for instance.  

Re: The identity of the author... and his books

#52

OrionTello Wrote: I deliberately try to learn as little about authors as possible.  I avoid reading blurbs at the back of books, I avoid reading little bios, I avoid personal details as much as I possibly can.  To me, knowing more about the author taints the experience in some way.  It's a personal preference, but I've gone a very long while reading very many books while learning little about the people who wrote them except through reading their work.  

I will say that I've learned personal details of many authors and they're pretty much who I thought they were from their writing.  An amazing amount comes through.  I guessed Brandon Sanderson was Mormon just from Wheel of Time, for instance.


Thank you for sharing your opinion))
As for me, I tried to find out as many details about the author as possible, especially if I love their books.

Re: The identity of the author... and his books

#53

mmarkgraf Wrote: The only author I ever lost faith in was Aleron Kong. Not because of how he acts, although it's easy to tell the guy is full of himself. Anyone who calls themself Dr. and the Father of American LitRPG on the cover of their book is expected to be a bit conceited. 

I looked past this character flaw because his books 'The Land Founding' series were interesting. Then he did something an author should never do and wrote a shit book to either get out of a contract or finish up a series he no longer wanted to write. Trust me don't read book eight. 

The next book in the series, assuming he ever writes it, could be the most amazing book ever and I won't buy it. I won't give this man another penny because of his lack of respect for his audience.


I agree with you.
Such behavior is very strange.
By the way, I noticed that such people often have problems with a sense of humor and are not capable of self-mockery.

Re: The identity of the author... and his books

#54

Silvia Wrote:
OrionTello Wrote: I deliberately try to learn as little about authors as possible.  I avoid reading blurbs at the back of books, I avoid reading little bios, I avoid personal details as much as I possibly can.  To me, knowing more about the author taints the experience in some way.  It's a personal preference, but I've gone a very long while reading very many books while learning little about the people who wrote them except through reading their work.  

I will say that I've learned personal details of many authors and they're pretty much who I thought they were from their writing.  An amazing amount comes through.  I guessed Brandon Sanderson was Mormon just from Wheel of Time, for instance.


Thank you for sharing your opinion))
As for me, I tried to find out as many details about the author as possible, especially if I love their books.


I know it's a weird quirk of mine.  I believe from spending lots of time in SFF fandom that you're in the majority. 

Maybe I can blame it on Ender's Game being my favorite book as a child while Orson Scott Card is... not a good person.  I sincerely don't understand how he can write a book about the profound loneliness and isolation a child can experience from moving, from ostracism, from being different, and then hold the opinions he does.  Makes me want to puke.  But I feel like I held that opinion before Card.  It just takes me out of the book if I spend too much time picturing it being written by a person. 

Edit: In all honesty, thinking about it, Card is probably the reason.  I know there was a point when I was 14 that I felt totally isolated and alone.  This was long before the internet, and I had one summer where I must have read Ender's Game ten or more times.  Just the idea that there was someone out there who got what it was like to be a kid who was that isolated and alone, the anger, the pain, the loneliness (this was ages before the internet, for the record- I had moved, I had very minimal contact with the friends I left, and I was a very hurt and  angry child).  Finding out who he was was like a knife wound to the chest. I will never forgive him for that. 

Re: The identity of the author... and his books

#55
I was once asked to do a paper on Lord of the Rings. I did my diligence, read the works and considered them, checked the author's history, especially the time and conditions during which he wrote it, thoughts from his publisher, boned up on his hobbies, other and former works ( children's books).  Then I wrote the paper, summarized the work, tied some of the motifs I encountered to his time, place and works history. My instructor accepted it, but wondered why I didn't pick up the psychological importance of the rings to some deep seated discord with marriage, etc. Now I was majoring in Psych at the time, and my first thought was, So, you're a psychologist? An analyst? You had the man on a couch for how many years? My second was, most of the thoughts I expressed besides my own, came from considering interviews with Tolkien on his own work, and could be validated. You are asking for flights of imagination that vye with his work, not typify it. 

Re: The identity of the author... and his books

#57
That's a really interesting topic, there's a lot to say about this but I'll keep it short.

In my opinion, and of course my opinion remains absolutely subjective, we must take the time to look at the art before we see the person behind it. It's indeed often more appealing to know the author, we're more able to interpret his works when we know anecdotes and facts about him. But we tend to elevate the author to the status of a model, or even dehumanize him or her, which is why we're shocked when we learn that an author whose writing touches us has committed harmful acts. The solution here is to distinguish a book from its author.

Of course in some cases, it'll always be difficult, even impossible depending on one's convictions, to love the book of an author as talented as he is if one already does'nt like the author because of his behavior. But then again, this debate will probably always remain a matter of each individual's moral sensitivity.

Re: The identity of the author... and his books

#58

AdliQuiBoit Wrote: That's a really interesting topic, there's a lot to say about this but I'll keep it short.

In my opinion, and of course my opinion remains absolutely subjective, we must take the time to look at the art before we see the person behind it. It's indeed often more appealing to know the author, we're more able to interpret his works when we know anecdotes and facts about him. But we tend to elevate the author to the status of a model, or even dehumanize him or her, which is why we're shocked when we learn that an author whose writing touches us has committed harmful acts. The solution here is to distinguish a book from its author.

Of course in some cases, it'll always be difficult, even impossible depending on one's convictions, to love the book of an author as talented as he is if one already does'nt like the author because of his behavior. But then again, this debate will probably always remain a matter of each individual's moral sensitivity.

If I am disappointed in the author as a person, then I will not read his/her books, the same applies to music and books)))

This is an unpopular approach, I would even say strange for many people)))

But I'm also interested in hearing other people's opinions on this topic.

Sometimes it seems to me that people are afraid to look not tactful enough and are afraid to answer my questions
unequivocally, preferring evasive answers))

Re: The identity of the author... and his books

#59
I don't mind what the author is like and it won't influence my decision to read their books, it might influence if I buy or borrow though. It just seems unkind to hold the views of the person who brought the idea to us, against the work itself.

 On a separate note, people don't stop using electricity after finding out Tesla was pro-eugenics, they just vilify the man and enjoy their amenities. There are a lot of ideas like that, popular and associated with people modern culture finds abhorrent, you can't re-discover things every time the "wrong person" figures it out first, you know?

Edit: A comma was missing.

Re: The identity of the author... and his books

#60
I do care about the creator... Yet it is a bit strange. 

If the author is a good or just an okay person then no feeling changes in me. But if the author turns out to be a bad person or be a bit dodgy then I'll always have that in the back of me mind. I won't stop consuming the product if I like it, but I'll always remember. I cannot completely separate the product from the author but I still can enjoy it even if I don't like the person. That'll definitely change me excitement towards new things they might release though.