Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Fallen Idols

Here is an interesting essay that caught my eye in the NY Times Book Review. The writer explores the disappointment of meeting a revered or admired author.The artist may not always be as likable as the art he produces. This is particularly true when a writer meets a particularly admired or celebrated author.

As an infectious diseases trainee at Cornell University, I was excited to meet a a certain physician-author at the institution. I had read and admired one of his books. When inquiring about him, the response from many faculty members was nearly universal, ''stay away from that jackass, he has a malignant personality.'' 

Perhaps it is best to separate the writer from his work or to appreciate them as almost separate entities. To quote a line from the above essay,  “Tolstoy I’m sure was an incredible jackass, but I still love him."

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