Tonight at 10PM CST, Mr. Deadman will talk about the incoming wave of language police and what it could mean for the free expression. Mr. Deadman will also partake in a drunk reading of Edgar Allan Poe’s Black Cat! Mr. Deadman will take a shot for each patron of Deadman’s Tome. Become a patron by following this link https://www.patreon.com/deadmanstome
When exploring the works of classic literary icons, it would not be uncommon for the reader to awe at the craftsmanship. It would also not be uncommon for the reader to experience an emotional response, and then to even begin idolizing the author. But then comes the discovery that the author behind the beautiful prose and the emotional resonance was a racist, misogynist, anti-Semite, or a homophobe.
What happens then? Does the reader pretend that the novel, poem, or story she read did not affect her? Does the reader discredit the work that she found impressive because the author is, surprise-surprise, flawed? Possessing an ability to write, to express in ways that others admire, does not mean anything as far as one’s political views, ideology, or world-view.
So, I present the question can we divorce the author from the work?
The opposite would suggest that the reader would be required to know about the author to even enjoy his or her work. However, one does not need to know anything about T. S. Eliot to be engrossed and impacted by its overpowering sense of despair. One does not need to know anything about Roald Dahl to enjoy James and the Giant Peach. The connection to the author is not crucial at all. With that said, knowing about the authors life does offer further insight and a deeper understanding, but is not a requirement.
If you were moved by Ernest Hemingway and admired his work, then what difference does it make that he may or may not have been racist or a misogynist? I understand that people may not like that aspect of his character, but that aspect is only one part of the mind that was responsible for some of the most influential works in the 20th century. People are complicated creatures with multiple layers, and Hemingway is no different. Why wouldn’t he be? He’s human. Enjoying Hemingway’s work give readers a glimpse to only a part of him. It would be foolish of anyone to think that just because someone can write well and inspire millions that they’re somehow flawless or virtuous in character.
My answer to the question is why does it even matter. If it’s not a requirement for me to know the author to enjoy the work, then why would it be a requirement for me to agree with the author’s political views, world view, or ideology? If the work was influential based on its own merits, then why would it even matter? If you say that it does, then what’s the next step with that logic? Ban the work? Burn the books? Pretend that the work doesn’t have value? Sounds like fascism.
The truth is beautiful works can emerge from even the most vile of minds.
H. P. Lovecraft died on March 15th, 1937, leaving behind a legacy that would take off and inspired many of the known modern horror writers of today. To pay tribute to his legacy, Deadman’s Tome put together an issue dedicated to the racist Rhode Islander and the Cthulhu Mythos he left behind.
Deadman’s Tome presents The Ancient Ones. The issue releases on March 1st for Amazon Kindle and 6×9 print.
Patrons of the Deadman’s Tome Patreon page can read it as early as February 20th. Become a patron by following this link: https://www.patreon.com/deadmanstome
Get awesome The Ancient Ones gear:
H. P. Lovecraft was born on August 20th, 1890 and died on March 15th, 1937. He was born in a country that two decades ago was coming out of a Reconstruction, a country that three decades ago still had stated that exercised slavery. A country where half of it practiced Jim Crow laws because black and whites sharing the same space was seen as abhorrent. A country in the midst of a massive political change that required military intervention. Which is why I’m not surprised that H. P. Lovecraft was a bigot.
But Lovecraft was born in Rhode Island, a state that abolished segregation in 1866. A state that was open to the inflow of blacks during the Great Migration. He should’ve known better. That I do agree with, but even though the North was much more tolerant and accepting of blacks do not pretend that they did not face discrimination. In 1920’s, Rhode Island experienced a surge of Ku Klux Klan memberships in reaction to the migrants. The Klan is believed to be responsible for the Watchman Institute burning, a school that was opened to African-American students. The racism and bigotry was still present and strong in the America that Lovecraft was born in. I wonder if he would’ve been such a narrow-minded racist if he had been born in a different time. Under this consideration I would say that Lovecraft was a product of the time and political climate he lived in. He held ideals that were popular but were on the wrong side of history. He bought into the racism and bigotry. But remember, this is the same country that did not ban racial discrimination in the workplace until 1963 with the Civil Rights Act.
Because of this, it’s really not surprising that H. P. Lovecraft wrote a poem in 1912 titled On The Creation of Niggers, a poem that claims that blacks are not human but beasts.
Does that bother me? Honestly, judging based on what I’ve read about him, Lovecraft seems like a bitter jaded figure that would’ve been annoying to be around. He’s also a person that holds views that I would agree with or even support. With that said, I do very much enjoy his work. The Rats in the Walls, The Re-Animator, Call of Cthulhu and The Shadow Over Innsmouth are still interesting stories and have inspired a lot of notable talent.
Do we throw away the art because the artist of then holds views that are not tolerated today? Do I have to like the guy or even agree with his political views to like his work?
That’s a topic for a different time.
This Friday at 10PM CST, R. A. Goli joins Mr. Deadman to discuss her dark erotic horror titled Flirting With The Dead. A story about the dangers of trying to engage in spectrophilia (ghost sex). Think the movie Ghost but with a manipulative and violent Patrick Swayze. In addition to exploring R. A. Goli’s work and inspiration, we’ll also explore the topic of spectrophilia.
Deadman’s Tome No Safe Word blends the perversions of dark erotica with the chill and brutality of horror. The collection makes for a provocative and thrilling read. No Safe Word is available for Kindle and print. Patrons of the Deadman’s Tome Patreon page can read it for free as a perk of a one dollar pledge.
At least for Fangoria…
It should not come as a surprise to anyone that eBooks and eZines allow publishers to offer the same material and information but at a fraction of the cost. It should also be of no surprise that digital formats are on the rise. The ability to read a book, magazine, or article at the push of a button is so amazing and something that print versions just cannot compete with.
Well, most of us with our ears to the ground heard this news coming from far off. Fangoria isn’t likely to produce another magazine in print. Ever. The troubles that Fango has been having stretch back years (all the way back when I was writing for them in 2008), and while I won’t point any […]
This Friday at 10PM CST, meet Matthew Lyons. He is the writer behind One Crazy Tip, a modern fable warning of the dangers of too much self-love. Together, We’ll explore Matthew’s inspiration behind his work and find out if his perverted little tale was inspired by a real life experience.
If you haven’t yet read Matthew Lyons’ One Crazy Tip, then you really ought to. One Crazy Tip is featured in Deadman’s Tome’s February release entitled No Safe Word. No Safe Word is a dark blend of erotic perversions and chilling horror. Check out No Safe Word to find out more.
Deadman’s Tome The Ancient Ones is still in submission selection and editing, but this mug isn’t.