Articles Read & Loved no. 7

Particular Ways of Being Wrong by Natalie Bakopoulos examines the failure of literary critics in their reviews to engage with the book on its own terms and concentrate on an author’s personal life instead. The question of whether art should be considered on its own terms regardless of the personal faults of the artist has been on my mind, especially in light of Dylan Farrow’s renewed accusations against Woody Allen. Bakopoulos argues that the role of the critic, to engage with the creative work, shouldn’t be impeded by the private life of an artist. But art doesn’t exist in a vacuum. So does lauding and celebrating the novel or film of a sexual offender mean we’re letting art take precedence over ethics? I think maybe the question I’m asking is: the artist’s private life shouldn’t be considered when judging their work, but are there certain cases when it should?

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