Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Reader Responses To Orson Scott Card

Reader Response
When I wrote about the Orson Scott Card controversy with DC Comics last week here on Rivera Runs Through It, I had one question on my mind: "Should an author's philosophy keep me from reading his/her work?" I finished the post still undecided, still lost as to what I should do. However, in the time since its publication, that post has yielded a number of very valuable responses from all across the Internet. Since not all of the responses found their way to the comments section of this blog, I thought I'd share them here for you.

Andrea Says This Is More Than A Philosophy

Andrea Brokaw, YA author of Pride, Prejudice, and Curling Rocks and I'd Rather Not Be Dead had the following to say about Card's beliefs and her response to them on Google+:

Andrea's argument was echoed in an Op-Ed piece by Wayne Rée posted today on The Comics Observer in a post entitled Hate Is Not A Belief.
Becca Warns Against Squashing Our Own Freedoms

Becca Nark, one half of the genius behind Good Girls Gone Geek and a contributing writer for Word of The Nerd had the following to say on Facebook:
Orson Scott Card FB response
As I told Becca on Facebook, I completely agree with her thoughts, our freedom of speech is nothing to trifle with. On the other hand, personally funding the actions that support that speech is what - until now - I held an issue with. I thanked her for her brilliant suggestion about supporting used bookstores which allows us to enjoy the art without supporting the artist's actions that may conflict with your own!

JP Offers Neil Gaiman's Response

JPNelluc on Twitter was kind enough to share a post by Neil Gaiman where he reponds to the following question all the way back in 2006:

If you really enjoy an author's stories and then you find out the author (not you) is a jerk or believes in some fairly wretched things would you keep reading this author's works?
This is, by far, my favorite response to my post thus far as it begins with one thought that triggered me to ask the question in the first place:
If I were only allowed to read or enjoy art or listen to music made by people whose opinions and beliefs were the same as mine, I think the world would be a pretty dismal sort of a place.
And it ends off with the very intriguing, and heart-breaking, flip-flop scenario:
I've met people -- writers and artists -- over the years who I liked immediately, with whom I found myself agreeing on everything to do with art and aesthetics so closely that we might have shared the same head, people whose world-views were pretty much mine, whom I'd talk with far into the night and whom I parted from excited that I'd met them, looking forward to nothing more than reading their writing or looking at their art... and then I would find what they had done, and, at least as far as my taste was concerned, the books would be uninteresting, the drawings ugly or clumsy.
To read Neil's entire response (I didn't want to copy and paste the whole thing here, that felt sort of like plagiarism) check out Neil Gaiman's Journal.

My Conclusion

At this point I think I am going to take Becca's advice and continue to enjoy the works of Orson Scott Card via used book stores. My reasoning? Simple - I agree with both Andrea and Neil. I think Orson Scott Card is a bit of a "lunatic" and I also believe the world would be "a pretty dismal sort of place"if I only enjoyed the art of those who agree with me. 
What are your thoughts?
Do these comments sway you one way or the other?
Do you have more to add?
Thanks for reading!



  1. I think Becca had some great advice too as well as Neil Gaiman that make excellent sense and a good solution.

  2. I felt so much better after reading them both!