scottedelman (scottedelman) wrote,

WFC 2010: The Moral Distance Between the Author and the Work

I appeared on the panel "The Moral Distance Between the Author and the Work" yesterday afternoon at the World Fantasy Convention in Columbus, along with Eric Flint, Nancy Kress, Paul Witcover, Kathryn Cramer, and Jack Skillingstead.

Minutes before we were to begin, I forced my Flip camcorder on Andy Duncan, who was kind enough to record the whole thing. The room was packed, with several hundred people present, and the discussion grew so lively near the end that we almost failed to yield the room.

Here's how the panel was described in the Pocket Program:

What do we make of good art by bad people, or at least people of whom we disapprove? Richard Wagner was a particularly vile anti-Semite, but he still wrote "Kill Da Wabbit!" and other great music. Should we listen? The official Nazi film industry made one very good fantasy film (BARON MUNCHAUSEN, to which the Terry Gilliam version owes a good deal). Should we watch this? What about an author who is a convicted child molester? Should we read his novel? CAN we read it for itself? Is it possible to truly experience any form of art as a thing until itself, rather than the product of its creator?

The whole thing is embedded below.


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