When I read fiction I imagine what influences worked upon the author to produce the work. Is it biographical or informed by political views? Is it warped by maltreatment of the author? Did they care what others thought of their work and the secrets that might be revealed in producing that piece of fiction?
|Flaubert, a flawed hero of mine...|
I don’t want their work to be coloured by their misogyny, racism, self-hatred or obstreperous personalities. Or by our 21st century standards of politically correct values. I would like to experience their visions purely, unpolluted by biographical details and my own narrow-minded prejudices.
And, am I intrigued by the misbehavior of writers? Yes. Drawn to biographies of troubled writers? Yes. Fascinated by scoundrels, whores and miscreants? Yes, yes and yes.
Initially published in an altered form on February 16th, 2007.