March 16, 2007
Why Do Critics Defend Their Favorite Artists Despite.....
Prospect Magazine calls attention to those who support all aspects of an artist because of perhaps how they feel about their professional work when there were many aspects of their personal life that were flawed or worse, inappropriate. I agree. In this case, they talk about TS Eliot.
Picasso is without a doubt one of my favorite artists and while his brushstrokes continue to draw me in decade after decade, there are things about his personal behavior that I have never supported. The same applies to so many greats - Oscar Wilde and Henry Miller are other worthy examples.
Asks the article, "Why do critics feel a need to defend the authors they write on, like doting parents deaf to all criticism of their obnoxious children? Eliot's well-earned reputation is established beyond all doubt, and making him out to be as unflawed as the Archangel Gabriel does him no favours.
It is true that the poet was a sourly elitist reactionary who fellow-travelled with some unsavoury political types in the 1930s, and as a Christian knew much of faith and hope but little of charity.
Yet the politics of many distinguished modernist artists were just as squalid, and some—Pound and Junger, for example—were quite a lot worse. There is no need to pretend that all great writers have to be uxorious, liberal-minded, philosemitic heterosexuals. Why does Raine write as though discovering that Eliot was a paedophile would change our view of Four Quartets?"
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