In Response to Denis Hartnett’s Separating Good Art From Problematic Artist

While scrolling through my peer’s blog posts one in particular caught my eye, Denis Hartnett’s “Separating Good Art From Problematic Artists.” If I am not mistaken, I was in that discussion group where we delved about the complexities of trying to draw a line between articulated and well versed art, and that of the artists troublesome views and ideals.

It all began with our readings of H.P Lovecraft, “one of the most influential horror writers of all time,” as Denis himself expressed in his blogpost. Indeed, one recognises Lovecraft’s work as exceptional, and it has indeed managed to influence and inspire many artists and writers today, including N.K Jemisin. What Lovecraft created is a brilliant outline of work, all demonstrating his talent as a writer and as a creative thinker. What most critics today still continue to struggle with however, is trying to separate the inspiration behind his work, which is heavily linked to his anti-semite, racist, and sexist commentary and attitude, with that of the quality and content of his work itself.

It comes to no surprise that Lovecraft would so unapologetically link his work to his convictions and perceptions of the world, as he, as a writer, has the freedom and ability to do so, as anyone else can. Isn’t that the true beauty of creating? The truth is, every writer has a story and a background. Whether good or bad, we should not just alienate ourselves as learners and readers to a specific text because we simply don’t agree with their politics. It is our responsibility as students to be able to delve into work and acknowledge its structural and semantic ability, all while articulating well rounded analysis’s. We must separate good art from problematic artists, not doing so would be an act of disservice to ourselves.  

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