Saturday, March 1, 2014

Ender's Game

I hadn't really heard about Ender's Game before the movie came out (last year, was it?). I heard about a boycott of the movie because of the author's attitudes toward homosexuality. Then recently my teenage son really wanted me to read the book. So I did, and I thought it was great.

I've said before that I don't think authors' attitudes/thoughts/personalities matter much to me.

I have bought books by intelligent authors whose blogs I love to read, and I haven't finished the books. I have loved books by authors with great blogs. I've heard of people losing their taste for books by authors who tweet inanely, and I'm glad that hasn't happened to me so far. I read a lot of poems and I would not want the responsibility of researching each poet and deciding how I feel about their lives before I read their work.

This question can apply to actors and directors -- I think Gérard Depardieu was a wonderful Cyrano, whether he is an unpleasant person or no. If someone commits child abuse, that does change things for me, although I still feel bad for the rest of the cast and crew if I avoid their movies.

I think the answer for me is that, by and large, the words stand on their own. Once something is written and I read it, it's mine. (The same thing could apply to art or music.) What do you think?


Linda B said...

Good question, Tabatha. I think I'll take each idea, whether book or music or art a piece at a time. I read the first 4 Ender's series when it came out with my daughter-obviously long ago, & have read Ender's Game with students. It has grabbed a few reluctant readers like few other books & sent them on their reading way so I always treasured it. I was always aware of his religious beliefs, but now Card seems to have become more outspoken, hence some of the boycotting I guess. I'm glad you enjoyed the book.

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

By and large, I would have to agree with you, Tabatha. I think it is our responsibility, especially as writers and artists, to let a creative work be judged without bias once it has been released into the world. We would expect the same for our own "babies." That is the beauty of creative expression, isn't it? That once it is shared, it is no longer the property of the originator. I think we have to accept that we enter into any relationship--with a book, performance, or artwork--with personal bias. It's human nature. But bias is also meddlesome, and I think it's important to recognize it, but not let it get the best of us.