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Death of the aurthor and the Willingness to Consume Media

Do you take into consideration a creators opinions/actions when deciding to consume a piece o media?

  • Always

    Votes: 1 9.1%
  • Frequently

    Votes: 2 18.2%
  • Sometimes

    Votes: 3 27.3%
  • Almost never

    Votes: 4 36.4%
  • Never

    Votes: 1 9.1%

  • Total voters
    11
  • This poll will close: .

DevilsDelight

❤ A Delightful Devil ❤
Joined
Dec 21, 2018
Location
The Astral Plane
Hello all!

Recently I've been dwelling on the Death of an Author, as well as separation of the artist from their art, and just how much it can affect how one perceives and derives meaning from as well as consumes media. That and I hadn't seen a thread pertaining to this particular subject open for discussion. I figured I'd amend that, however if I'm asked by mods to remove this thread, I will do so.

For those of you who aren't aware: The basic concept of the death of an author is that an author's political views, identity, religion, historical context, etc. cannot be used when deriving meaning from a creative work. This is especially prominent if said work doesn't expressly state that any of those factors have meaning. A few examples of this would pertain to Orson Scott Card's views on homosexuality, Or H.P. Lovecraft's various political views that were a product from his time.

In addition: the death of an author can be applied to any information a creator posts about their work that was not made explicit within the work itself. An prominent example of this in popular culture would be J.K. Rowling stating Dumbledore is gay after the completion of the Harry potter series, yet it is never addressed explicitly within the content of the books.

In summary, it is basically is an argument to negate any outside information that could pertain to a work, and judge and derive meaning from the creative piece solely by the piece itself.

For those of you who want a little further reading on the subject: I direct you to a couple short articles.

A short summary: Death of an Author

Barhes' The Death of the Author analysis


Separation of an artist from their art is a simpler subject, but one that raises issues of morality and ethics. If one were to know that a creator had done something or believed in something morally wrong, yet could still judge their work objectively without considering the artists actions, then they can separate the art from the artist.


However, it raises the moral question of weather it was right for them to due so due to the artists actions and beliefs, and makes us ask if doing so condones the actions of the artist, especially if it's especially morally taboo. For examples I direct you once again to the examples I stated in my rundown of Death of an Author, yet also point to more recent events such as Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trials.



There's a poll at the beginning you can answer should you wish. Truthfully anyone can respond, even if they don't chime in with a more cohesive response below. However, the poll is set to close in 30 months automatically, despite my own doubts that this subject will actually be active for that long.

That being said, I also have a few more questions for those of you who are reading this and want to chime in:

Do you as a person consider what you know of an creator before consuming a piece of media?

Has finding out something you didn't know about a creator you liked changed your views about them, and furthermore, their creations?

Have you ever known something about a creator but chose to consume their work anyways, regardless of how bad that particular bit of information was?

Do you personally believe in Separation of an artist from their art, and that a creative piece should only be judged by it's content and nothing else?


Do you believe in death of an author, and that meaning should only be derived from a piece?


Has the historical context from which a piece was written changed your personal interpretation of a piece? Has the writers race, religion, or views changed your interpretation?


Below I will be answering my own questions to get the ball rolling on this discussion. My answers are not definitive on the subject, and should not be viewed as the end all be all when it comes to the topic. Simply put these are my opinions, and that is all they are.

I rarely know much about the content creators who make media to really judge them ahead of time. Usually when I do find out information about a creator, it's after I've consumed their work, and generally because I began seeking out other things by them. In the off chance I do know beforehand, it's usually due to classes or reading things in the news.

Yes. My views considering creators have changed due to finding out something of their past when they were charged for possessing child pornography. I since have switched to consuming media by said artist illegally through various means, despite knowing there were more people who worked on the project besides the bad apple who were deserving of my coin. I still consume the content, but I've simply distanced myself to avoid lining one person's pockets for something I deem horrid.

Yes, but it's a rare event. Generally it happens with classes or when a piece is recommended to me from a friend and we talk beforehand about it.

Yes. An creator does just that, create. Who are we to judge their works based on their personal views and actions, when their work had little to do with such things. Unless the creator brought their personal experiences and beliefs into the piece personally, then let the work speak for itself. I by no means condone their actions if something they've done is foul, but I don't want to consider it in my critiques.


The meaning of a piece is interpretive, and will vary from person to person. If we all had the same takeaway from.every piece of art, there'd be no variety in our view points. Thus I believe that death of the Author is a mixed bag. Knowing the context in which one lived can greatly change what one takes away from a piece, and that's okay in my book.


Yes. Much as I hate to say it, it has affected my perception of meaning, specifically if I know ahead of time. It usually has to do with the time period from which a piece was created, as opposed to an author's sex/race/religion(though those things have affected my perceptions), but the context of time has changed the meanings of pieces the most, particularly when I relate them to how things have changed due to the modern world.



Due to a mistake on my end pointed out by @MisterKing , I have edited the above text heavily to better reflect what i actually meant. I will be perserving the original text below, for those of you who want to read it.

Hello all!

Recently I've been dwelling on the Death of an Author and just how much it can affect how one percieves and consumes media. That and I hadn't seen a thread pertaining to this particular subject open for discussion. I figured I'd amend that, however if I'm asked by mods to remove this thread, I will do so.

For those of you who aren't aware: The basic concept of the death of an author is that an authors political views, identity, religion, historical context, etc. cannot be used when deriving both meaning and criticism upon a creative work. This is especially prominent if said work doesn't expressly state that any of those factors have meaning. A few examples of this would pertain to Orson Scott Card's views on homosexuality, Or H.P. Lovecraft's various political views.

In addition: the death of an author can be applied to any information a creator posts about their work that was not made explicit within the work itself. An prominent example of this in popular culture would be J.K. Rowling stating Dumbledore is gay after the completion of the Harry potter series, yet it is never addressed explicitly within the content of the books.

In summary, it is basically is an argument to negate any outside information that could pertain to a work, and judge and derive meaning from the creative piece solely by the piece itself.

For those of you who want a little further reading on the subject: I direct you to a couple short articles.

A short summary: Death of an Author


Barhes' The Death of the Author analysis

There's a poll at the beginning you can answer should you wish. Truthfully anyone can respond, even if they don't chime in with a more cohesive response below. However, the poll is set to close in 30 months automatically, despite my own doubts that this subject will actually be active for that long.

That being said, I also have a few more questions for those of you who are reading this and want to chime in:

Do you as a person consider what you know of an creator before consuming a piece of media?

Has finding out something you didn't know about a creator you liked changed your views about them, and furthermore, their creations?

Have you ever known something about an creator but chose to consume their work anyways, regardless of how bad that particular bit of information was?

Do you personally believe in Death of an Author, and that a creative piece should only be judged by it's content and nothing else?


Below I will be answering my own questions to get the ball rolling on this discussion. My answers are not definitive on the subject, and should not be viewed as the end all be all when it comes to the topic. Simply put these are my opinions, and that is all they are.

I rarely know much about the content creators who make media to really judge them ahead of time. Usually when I do find out information about a creator, it's after I've consumed their work, and generally because I began seeking out other things by them.

Yes. My views considering creators have changed due to finding out something of their past when they were charged for possessing child pornography. I since have switched to consuming media by said artist illegally through various means, despite knowing there were more people who worked on the project besides the bad apple who were deserving of my coin. I still consume the content, but I've simply distanced myself to avoid lining one person's pockets for something I deem horrid.

Yes, but it's a rare event. Generally it happens with classes or when a piece is recommended to me from a friend and we talk beforehand about it.

Yes. An creator does just that, create. Who are we to judge their works based on their personal views and experiences, when their work had little to do with such things. Unless the creator brought their personal experiences and beliefs into the piece personally, then let the work speak for itself.
 
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MisterKing

Super-Earth
Joined
Jan 21, 2015
Location
Under a bridge
I take it you saw the Lindsay Ellis video as well?

Also you're mixing metaphors. DotA is its own literary theory, and the issues such as, say, whether you can appreciate Fahrenheit 451 because Ray Bradbury said something about the Jews, are generally referred to as "separating the art from the artist" and often fall under ethics. There's occasionally overlap, but they're still discrete issues.

DotA manifests when an author declares the work to mean one thing, and the readers/critics declare it to mean another. A good example in recent memory is Far Cry 3, where the writer, upon hearing criticism of the game's story for being exploitative and exhuming old racist/sexist tropes, declared that it wasn't actually racist/sexist and subverted those tropes. It has everything to do with the work, and nothing to do with the author's political opinions triggering someone.

Many found the story of a 25 year old white American rescuing an oppressed native tribe on a third world island to be uncomfortable to say the least, but Yohalem suggested this was only a surface level thing and that Jason is an unreliable narrator and may not be the savior dudebro he's portrayed as.
And to paraphrase a dinosaur, "You can tell me that author intent doesn't matter, and I can tell you that the 10th grade English teacher you learned that from was on meth when he said it, and we'd be right back where we started."
 
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DevilsDelight

❤ A Delightful Devil ❤
Joined
Dec 21, 2018
Location
The Astral Plane
I take it you saw the Lindsay Ellis video as well?

Also you're mixing metaphors. DotA is its own literary theory, and the issues such as, say, whether you can appreciate Fahrenheit 451 because Ray Bradbury said something about the Jews, are generally referred to as "separating the art from the artist" and often fall under ethics. There's occasionally overlap, but they're still discrete issues.

And to paraphrase a dinosaur, "You can tell me that author intent doesn't matter, and I can tell you that the 10th grade English teacher you learned that from was on meth when he said it, and we'd be right back where we started."
No I hadn't seen it. I don't follow her and have basically been brewing on thoughts all day due to someone bringing it up because I was reading Enders game.

Also I should probably make amends then, due to the mistake. Perhaps my own brewing and eagerness to get it out of my system led to that mistake I do appreciate you pointing that out.

Thank you for responding though, I appreciate your input!
 

Tau

Moon
Joined
Jan 31, 2019
Location
Inbetween
For myself there's a level of how much the author would 'profit' from my consumption of their work. Purchasing an Orson Scott Card book new, where it's 'sale' may be counted, either directly giving funds to them, or increasing the potential for them to get better deals in future is not something I would do. H.P Lovecraft (whose racism was well beyond what could reasonably considered a 'product of their times') is dead and gone, he won't benefit from my patronage. It also helps that his racism (understood in context or not) is widely known.

There's also the self flagellation drive that some people in the centre-left seem to have, where they can not like, enjoy or consume anything 'problematic'. The issue is....everything is fucking problematic, some more than others. As long as you recognise, admit and are happy to discuss how something is problematic, it's cool. It's when people deny the issues that it is a problem.
 

NadiatheTinkerer

Bored Maid
Joined
Sep 28, 2016
Location
Canada
My life is too short to go and research every artist or author for Wrong think. If they actively are being extremely rude or awful in some way? Sure, I might avoid their stuff, but not likely if I enjoy it. The last time I avoided a product was battlefield 5, and honestly, the political dumbness was only part of it, since the game was just falling apart and was kinda bad.

Moral of the story, you will be happier in life not looking for things to be upset over.
 
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RedRose

Star
Joined
Aug 30, 2014
I'm like Nadia. I may be just less political as a French gal… Unless he's an asshole and I'm not THAT interested, I'm not going to inconvenience myself. I may try to not PAY for it though.
 

Bunny Cake

Super-Earth
Joined
Aug 17, 2010
Location
Canada
I've just read a really good article on this subject, if you care to look at it it's Here!

The article talks about the different ways people have tried to separate the art from the artist, and whether or not we should! The last two paragraphs summed it up nicely, I think:

"What this theoretical apparatus gives me is a way to think about changing my mind if I want to, if it feels valuable to me. I can follow Barthes and Livingstone and decide that Edward Scissorhands doesn’t belong to Johnny Depp; it belongs to me, and I get to recreate it myself. I can follow Hungerford and pay the most attention to the question of whether Edward Scissorhands makes me complicit in Depp’s alleged abuse. Or I can follow Hayes-Brady and decide that I don’t need the people who make my art to be morally virtuous.

All these tools are there, just waiting for me, just as they are waiting for you. And the moment we start to question how we should think about any work of art, we can pick them up and wield them accordingly."

Personally, I think that the important thing to get out of it all is that it's good to question the artist and to personally take stock and evaluate what their art means to you. I also think it's a good opportunity to seek out more marginalized creators and give them your time/money/attention/support that you would have otherwise given to artist you may feel no longer deserve it.
 

P DeRudio

Planetoid
Joined
Jan 31, 2019
Location
Ft. Zinderneuf
English author David Irving is a holocaust denier. I wouldn't waste a minute of my time with his works, not because he's a denier per se, but because as a denier he is willing to distort the historical record and is thus worthless as a historian.
 

NadiatheTinkerer

Bored Maid
Joined
Sep 28, 2016
Location
Canada
English author David Irving is a holocaust denier. I wouldn't waste a minute of my time with his works, not because he's a denier per se, but because as a denier he is willing to distort the historical record and is thus worthless as a historian.
That’s fair, because unlike say a fantasy writer, you can’t really take his word for historical events if he will deny what is clearly a true event.
 
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