Posted in Fun tidbits, Helpful information

separating author and book?

The question of whether an author should be separated from their book is a good one.  I have had this discussion more than once and have enjoyed hearing other peoples perspectives. Even so, no one has yet been able to change my mind.

The short, yet not so simple, answer is no. A book, no matter the genre, starts in the author’s mind. The author decides the subjet, characters and tone. They decide where the story begins and where it ends.

Sometimes authors will intentionally use poeple, place and things they know so that a part of the story is more vivid.  Then there are times when the author doesn’t even realize they are putting something about themselves or their surroundings on the page. Either way a part of the author is in the book and good or bad it needs to be seen for that.

Wouldn’t knowing about the author help you decide which one to choose?

Lets break this down in A couple of genres. Biographies are a good place to start.  Any well known person with two or more could make my point, but I will use George Washington.  The facts of George Washington’s life are not going to change but you can find multiple books on him. Some are about his life, some about his military career, and some are about his political career. All these books will have the same facts about the subject, but the details around those facts can differ.  This happens because each author has their own personal views about those facts.  The extreme example being if an American author and a British author in 1800 both wrote books on Washington they are going to represent him differently because of how they view his actions.  But even two Americans can have views that alter how they interpret things.  Things like age, gender, ethnicity, religion, and upbringing all influence how the author views things.  These things are why the author chooses what information is included and what info is not included in their book.  By including some things and excluding others the author leads the reader in a certain direction that will aline the readers view with the authors.

Science fiction and fantasy are also interesting in this regard. These are entire genres of liturature devoted to the unreal. When someone chooses one of these genres they are doing so with the knowledge that they will be writing about things that do not exist, although they may have the potential to. Because of this they are using a different mindset then other writers. With the mindset they must use it is impossible for them not to leave a part of themselves in the story. 

Everyone loves these books because everyone can relate.

Think about it. If you create make believe things and then evaluate them you will see they are based around things you are familiar with. Positive parts are based on things you like and the negative are based on things you don’t like/fear.

Most of the time these things are done unintentionally but that is okay by me. These are often the things that make the books relatable.

Every author puts a lot of effort into their books.  They wrote the book the way they did for a reason. When you remove the author from the book you lose a level of context. Sometimes the context is simple, like knowing the author is from a different country then you (so slang might not be familiar to you).  Sometimes its more complicated and you’ll need background information (like college) just to be able to understand why they came up with the things they did, because its so different then your view.  Either way by separating an author from their book you as a reader run the risk of missing something you may need and it could change how you view the book.  So, no you should not seperate an author from their book.

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Author:

I was a bibliophile before I learned the alphabet. From an early age I have used books to relieve the pressures of reality. I was I teenager before I appreciated the learning power of books. Now, as an adult, I read books for both learning and relaxation.

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