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Omfatter også følgende navne: C. Dederer, Claire Dederer (Author)

Værker af Claire Dederer

Monsters: A Fan's Dilemma (2023) 306 eksemplarer

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In this book, Dederer looks at the question of what audiences are to do with the work of "monstrous" creators, those who do terrible things that stain their public image and, therefore, the public perception of their work. Can one still love the music of Michael Jackson? The art of Pablo Picasso? Roman Polanski's films, or Woody Allen's? The list goes on, but the question is always pretty much the same.

I was a regular viewer of The Cosby Show when I was growing up. As an adult, you can at least try to separate actors from roles they play, but to my child self, Bill Cosby as Cliff Huxtable was "America's Dad." So, that's the #MeToo revelation that hit home hardest for me, though of course there have been many others. I think most people these days have experienced the sinking feeling in their stomach that comes with reevaluating some favorite work of art when faced with new biographical information about the artist. So, what do you do? The portion of this book that focused on this question was smart and thought-provoking. I was less enamored with the parts of the book that veered into memoir, or to trying to explore "monstrous" behavior in women (usually related to abandoning their own children, though there were other examples). There are a few repetitive bits, and occasionally Dederer's rarified language use comes off as pretentious. Though I basically agree with her conclusion, I'm not left with a strong feeling about the book, or that it helped me explore the topic in any significant way beyond the mental work I've already put in to it. So, somewhat recommended?… (mere)
foggidawn | 12 andre anmeldelser | Apr 6, 2024 |
I highly recommended this book examining the art and work of people who also happen to have committed heinous crimes. The central question: does the crime mean we can no longer be fans and learn from their creativity? Artists include Polanski, Hemingway, Michael Jackson, Picasso, Miles Davis and many more. Great book to ponder on your own or in a book club!!! Here are just a few interesting quotes:

Calling someone a monster didn’t solve the problem of what do with the work. I could denounce him all I wanted to, but Polanski’s work still called to me. This insistent calling—and my unwillingness to throw away the work—disrupted my idea of myself. It made me (and others) questions my claim to feminism. (p.46)

And of course no one is entirely a monster. People are complex. To call someone a monster is to reduce them to just once aspect of the self. (p.46)

A monster is “Someone whose behavior disrupts our ability to apprehend the work on its own terms.” (p.46)

The stain begins with an act, a moment in time, but then it travels from that moment, like a tea bag steeping in water, coloring the entire life. It works its way forward and backward in time. (p.49)

Mass media—There is no longer any escaping biography. Even within my own lifetime, I’ve seen a massive shift. Biography used to be something you sought out, yearned for, actively pursued. Now is falls on your head all day long. (P.51)

When we love an artist, and we identify with them, do we feel shame on their behalf when they become stained? Or do we shame them more brutally, cast them out more finally, because we want to sever the identification? (p.64)

What response, what opinion, what criticism do you have that is not tied up with history? (p.76)

And other topics creep in too, like Cancel Culture, white men not wanting to be blamed for everything, does history frame/excuse the crimes and are women artists who “abandon” their children in order to find time to create monsters as well?
… (mere)
Berly | 12 andre anmeldelser | Mar 28, 2024 |
Quick read about the people we admire and their monstrous deeds -- and whether this should disqualify us from consuming their work. Examples - Polanski, Wagner, Picasso, Rowling, Hemingway, Allen, and others.
Dederer examines the works, and the artist's misdeeds. She recognizes their failings, and poses whether we should ignore the genius, and why some are more forgiven than others. She addresses all of this in the era of Me Too and Trumpism.
Interesting book.
rmarcin | 12 andre anmeldelser | Mar 19, 2024 |
This book was back and forth between artists who were "monsters" and memoir. There is a lot to think about and I came away as confused as before I started it.
ellink | 12 andre anmeldelser | Jan 22, 2024 |



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