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Old 07-15-2020, 12:03 AM   #166
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Old 07-15-2020, 12:18 AM   #167
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Old 07-15-2020, 11:28 AM   #168
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Very Nice Post. You put it better then I probably would have.

I did not think "The Queen of Sheba's Ring" as good as "King Solomon's Mines" either. Have a look at "Eric Brighteyes' . If you have not read it as it is a Viking story and goes nowhere near Africa.
Thank you. I'll look.
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Old 07-15-2020, 11:52 AM   #169
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Of course he was a racist by modern standards. No one has disputed that. The point is, was he a racist by the standards of his time? Personally I don't think so. Of course there are many people who cannot stand any standards or viewpoints more backward than the 21st century ones and have even accused authors of historical or fantasy fiction for creating characters who don't think like modern people. Now that's what I find ridiculous. If you want modern values, read fiction taking place in the modern world. It's perfectly understandable that someone who has been hurt by ignorant or reactionary beliefs doesn't want to read anything even faintly smelling of such views. But it's pretty ridiculous to accuse historical authors of holding the general views of their time.
This seems to be venturing--the thread, not your post, Sirtel--into the area of "books written by and featuring standards or ideas that we no longer hold to be true or right." Like Haggard, or any other authors of that era or earlier.

But if you're going to do that--if you're going to say that you shan't read Haggard, because you feel his views were racist, or similar writers, then you are going to also have to ban from your shelves pretty much any fiction (or non, for that matter) featuring women, in near-perpetuity, including Jane Austen, who featured women inveigling to get married, as their only futures. Mr. D'Arcy's kind and generous act--salvaging Lydia's reputation--is worthless today as nobody would give two figs if she ran off with Wickham. (Not to mention all the other stereotypes, etc.)

Almost every piece of fiction written, hell, well into the 70's, is condescending, patronizing and demeaning to women. Read anything by Mickey Spillane. Anything by Chandler. Read anything by pretty much ANYBODY.

If you're going to ban from your shelves anything written by anyone who doesn't share your modern sensibilities, you are going to have shelves that aren't very full and aren't very deep. That's simply a fact. Humans have changed and developed--I don't say evolved, as that word is egregiously misused to indicate shifting social mores--and that's simply part of history. We don't send entire colonies now to unknown lands, for the purposes of "bringing the Faith" to people, as did Isabella and Ferdinand. We no longer slave-trade. We no longer have laws on the books that "dictate" what size rod a man could legally and rightfully use to beat his wife. But those laws existed and the people--and characters--of that time reflect that.

But if you're going to say that you won't read any novels or books, written by anyone who ever thought that any of those things were right or normal...well. Then I really do feel sorry for you, because you will miss some fantastic literature.

Issy, for example, is very fond of The Three Muskateers, and it's hard to find what is described as a "rollicking adventure" that is more misogynistic than that. I mean, let's face it; how the would-be heroes treat women hardly meets 21st-Century standards. So...if we're going to be limiting what we read, it seems that we should be even-handed about it.

Right?

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Old 07-15-2020, 01:26 PM   #170
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Perhaps I shouldn't say this but I am getting a chuckle out of some of the posts. Takes me back a few years when school districts in BC were blocking access to Ana and Mia web sites. The screams about that "censorship", mostly from people who did not have children in the school system, were, to quote Shakespeare, "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

But then perhaps I should not be reading and/or quoting Shakespeare. By today's standards, most (all???) of the Bard's output would not be acceptable. The Taming of the Shrew, anyone?
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Old 07-15-2020, 01:43 PM   #171
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This seems to be venturing--the thread, not your post, Sirtel--into the area of "books written by and featuring standards or ideas that we no longer hold to be true or right." Like Haggard, or any other authors of that era or earlier.

But if you're going to do that--if you're going to say that you shan't read Haggard, because you feel his views were racist, or similar writers, then you are going to also have to ban from your shelves pretty much any fiction (or non, for that matter) featuring women, in near-perpetuity, including Jane Austen, who featured women inveigling to get married, as their only futures. Mr. D'Arcy's kind and generous act--salvaging Lydia's reputation--is worthless today as nobody would give two figs if she ran off with Wickham. (Not to mention all the other stereotypes, etc.)

Almost every piece of fiction written, hell, well into the 70's, is condescending, patronizing and demeaning to women. Read anything by Mickey Spillane. Anything by Chandler. Read anything by pretty much ANYBODY.

If you're going to ban from your shelves anything written by anyone who doesn't share your modern sensibilities, you are going to have shelves that aren't very full and aren't very deep. That's simply a fact. Humans have changed and developed--I don't say evolved, as that word is egregiously misused to indicate shifting social mores--and that's simply part of history. We don't send entire colonies now to unknown lands, for the purposes of "bringing the Faith" to people, as did Isabella and Ferdinand. We no longer slave-trade. We no longer have laws on the books that "dictate" what size rod a man could legally and rightfully use to beat his wife. But those laws existed and the people--and characters--of that time reflect that.

But if you're going to say that you won't read any novels or books, written by anyone who ever thought that any of those things were right or normal...well. Then I really do feel sorry for you, because you will miss some fantastic literature.

Issy, for example, is very fond of The Three Muskateers, and it's hard to find what is described as a "rollicking adventure" that is more misogynistic than that. I mean, let's face it; how the would-be heroes treat women hardly meets 21st-Century standards. So...if we're going to be limiting what we read, it seems that we should be even-handed about it.

Right?

Hitch
I raised that question a couple of years ago and it turned into a long discussion. In case anyone is interested:
https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=294004
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Old 07-15-2020, 02:08 PM   #172
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I raised that question a couple of years ago and it turned into a long discussion. In case anyone is interested:
https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=294004
I recall that thread and yes...that's the conundrum. If we're going to condemn people who thought the prevalent thoughts of their times, then, yes, Dorothy L. Sayers also, has "gotta go." Her attitudes were pretty vanilla, regular stuff, again, FOR HER TIME.

Picking and choosing which 100-200-year old attitude we're willing to support or read about or live with, versus another, seems, to me, to verge on hypocrisy. Reading Sayers doesn't make me a misogynist or an anti-Semite, any more than reading Haggard makes me a bigot. Sayers created one of the best-loved detectives, the Golden Age, of all time. Should she now be canceled? "Whoops, no more accolades for you, lady!"

If one is going to talk the talk and say that it's improper to read anything, from any era, that represents any ideas, thoughts or author beliefs that are incompatible with today, then we have to give up pretty much EVERYTHING that was written before...hell, the 1990's. That's walking the walk.

Otherwise, well..what's being discussed? I mean, if we're applying purity tests to books...man, we got a ton of people and authors and publishers that will NEVER pass. Or, we're selectively saying--and I'm sure that this doesn't apply to anyone here--that some types of bigotry, racism, condescension, mistreatment, etc., are "okay" and others aren't.

My own opinion is that taking that view would make us pretty entrenched, narrow people. That we would only read that which already matches our own beliefs? Seriously? Who thinks that's a good idea? Isn't part of what we do, in reading, is exposing ourselves to other ideas, other thoughts, other cultures, other beliefs, to expand our horizons? I mean, if we only want our own beliefs echoed back at us, we can give up reading and just head on over to Twitter.

Anybody, of course, can read whatever they want and pass up anything that they want. But a bit of consistent logic might save all us us a lot of angst.

Just a thought.

Hitch
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Old 07-15-2020, 02:14 PM   #173
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Spoiler:
This seems to be venturing--the thread, not your post, Sirtel--into the area of "books written by and featuring standards or ideas that we no longer hold to be true or right." Like Haggard, or any other authors of that era or earlier.

But if you're going to do that--if you're going to say that you shan't read Haggard, because you feel his views were racist, or similar writers, then you are going to also have to ban from your shelves pretty much any fiction (or non, for that matter) featuring women, in near-perpetuity, including Jane Austen, who featured women inveigling to get married, as their only futures. Mr. D'Arcy's kind and generous act--salvaging Lydia's reputation--is worthless today as nobody would give two figs if she ran off with Wickham. (Not to mention all the other stereotypes, etc.)

Almost every piece of fiction written, hell, well into the 70's, is condescending, patronizing and demeaning to women. Read anything by Mickey Spillane. Anything by Chandler. Read anything by pretty much ANYBODY.

If you're going to ban from your shelves anything written by anyone who doesn't share your modern sensibilities, you are going to have shelves that aren't very full and aren't very deep. That's simply a fact. Humans have changed and developed--I don't say evolved, as that word is egregiously misused to indicate shifting social mores--and that's simply part of history. We don't send entire colonies now to unknown lands, for the purposes of "bringing the Faith" to people, as did Isabella and Ferdinand. We no longer slave-trade. We no longer have laws on the books that "dictate" what size rod a man could legally and rightfully use to beat his wife. But those laws existed and the people--and characters--of that time reflect that.

But if you're going to say that you won't read any novels or books, written by anyone who ever thought that any of those things were right or normal...well. Then I really do feel sorry for you, because you will miss some fantastic literature.

Issy, for example, is very fond of The Three Muskateers, and it's hard to find what is described as a "rollicking adventure" that is more misogynistic than that. I mean, let's face it; how the would-be heroes treat women hardly meets 21st-Century standards. So...if we're going to be limiting what we read, it seems that we should be even-handed about it.

Right?


Hitch
Exactly. And speaking of problematic authors... we shouldn't read any authors from antiquity, either. After all, the Romans were slave-owners, so were the Greeks (plus many of the Greeks were pedophiles) and both societies treated women like chattel. Ancient East (China and Japan) isn't any better (pedophilia again and discrimination of women). Those ancient people were a nasty bunch. Eugh.

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Old 07-15-2020, 02:41 PM   #174
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Ok we’ve established that consideration needs to be given for when the society held different views than we do now, but what about authors within our time or who took action which was immoral and/or illegal in both their time and ours. MZB being a great example though not at the 100 year mark yet, I would be rather surprised if our views on her actions shifted dramatically in the next hundred years. She also has the benefit of being the author who got this thread going.

Milo would be another example who I think would fall under similar lines.

I think they’ve the right to publish, their work doesn’t call for harm to be done to specific individuals or groups. Though the two of them held/hold views which did/could lead to the harm of individuals. But so to do publishers have the right to not publish them. People are of course free to read or not read their books as they see fit.
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Old 07-15-2020, 02:59 PM   #175
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Ok we’ve established that consideration needs to be given for when the society held different views than we do now, but what about authors within our time or who took action which was immoral and/or illegal in both their time and ours. MZB being a great example though not at the 100 year mark yet, I would be rather surprised if our views on her actions shifted dramatically in the next hundred years. She also has the benefit of being the author who got this thread going.

Milo would be another example who I think would fall under similar lines.

I think they’ve the right to publish, their work doesn’t call for harm to be done to specific individuals or groups. Though the two of them held/hold views which did/could lead to the harm of individuals. But so to do publishers have the right to not publish them. People are of course free to read or not read their books as they see fit.
Yes. That's the case for each reader to decide for themselves whether it's ethical to read such authors or not. Personally I read them if I'm interested in their work. I don't support banning of books or authors on any other ground than directly and intentionally trying to harm someone. And even these grounds are dubious at best.
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Old 07-15-2020, 03:39 PM   #176
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Ok we’ve established that consideration needs to be given for when the society held different views than we do now, but what about authors within our time or who took action which was immoral and/or illegal in both their time and ours. MZB being a great example though not at the 100 year mark yet, I would be rather surprised if our views on her actions shifted dramatically in the next hundred years. She also has the benefit of being the author who got this thread going.

Milo would be another example who I think would fall under similar lines.

I think they’ve the right to publish, their work doesn’t call for harm to be done to specific individuals or groups. Though the two of them held/hold views which did/could lead to the harm of individuals. But so to do publishers have the right to not publish them. People are of course free to read or not read their books as they see fit.
Of course, MZB is basically being accused after she was dead and couldn't defend herself and apparently for something someone else did but she didn't stop. I tend to group her in the "I'm looking for a reason to feel offended" category, as opposed to someone like Eddings who apparently was convicted of child abuse before he started writing. I like most of Eddings books, read them all before I found out about Eddings legal issues, and really it hasn't colored my enjoyment of the books. I also don't allow the fact that Henry Ford was a bigot keep me from buying Ford cars.
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Old 07-15-2020, 03:48 PM   #177
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Ok we’ve established that consideration needs to be given for when the society held different views than we do now, but what about authors within our time or who took action which was immoral and/or illegal in both their time and ours. MZB being a great example though not at the 100 year mark yet, I would be rather surprised if our views on her actions shifted dramatically in the next hundred years. She also has the benefit of being the author who got this thread going.
I'm not sure that "we've established that..." at all. I think some of us think that. I think that there are others who think that one sort of criminal trespass of beliefs is worse than others, but...that's a topic for another day. or a different "forum," so to speak.

Quote:
Milo would be another example who I think would fall under similar lines.
Yes.

Quote:
I think they’ve the right to publish, their work doesn’t call for harm to be done to specific individuals or groups. Though the two of them held/hold views which did/could lead to the harm of individuals. But so to do publishers have the right to not publish them. People are of course free to read or not read their books as they see fit.
I'm sure that people struggle about MZB, especially those of us of a "certain age," that read her decades ago. I read her stuff long before any of this was known; Mists was a fave of mine, nearly 40 years ago now. Darkover...well, look. She could write. She was, purportedly (I do want to separate accusations from legal conclusions) a horrible human being and it's hard to believe that a woman that wrote what she wrote did that of which she is accused. But...that's what we're talking about.

Publishers gonna publish and readers gonna read; One of MZB's former writing partners still writes in the Avalon series. Is it 'bad' for her to continue to make money off of a universe created by MZB? Man...lotta stuff to consider there.

Hitch
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Old 07-15-2020, 04:08 PM   #178
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Publishers gonna publish and readers gonna read; One of MZB's former writing partners still writes in the Avalon series. Is it 'bad' for her to continue to make money off of a universe created by MZB? Man...lotta stuff to consider there.

Hitch
Jon raised this point somewhere in this thread and I responded that I felt we shouldn’t extend any sort of not reading to authors writing in the same universe. He had used Lovecraft for his example. Which would become rather problematic because of how far and wide the influence of Lovecraft is in literature. And I’m not even including the surface level kind of reference here where a book might name a big bad after one of the elder gods. The authors of these works are, as far as we know, not problematic they’re merely building in the universe of a problematic author.

I say problematic only because it’s the verbiage of the thread. I think Lovecraft might have fallen into the product of his time category but I’m not really looking to debate around a single author being problematic or not. He’s only used above because he’s well known, as are the issues with him, and the spread of the influence of his fictional universe. Which I think fits rather exceedingly well with the topic I quoted.
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Old 07-15-2020, 04:55 PM   #179
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Originally Posted by MGlitch View Post
I think they’ve the right to publish, their work doesn’t call for harm to be done to specific individuals or groups. Though the two of them held/hold views which did/could lead to the harm of individuals. But so to do publishers have the right to not publish them. People are of course free to read or not read their books as they see fit.
Depends of what you read of MZB's work. She edited Breen's book Greek Love and contributed an article Feminine Equivalents of Greek Love in Modern Literature to Breen's The International Journal of Greek Love. I had a quick look at a .pdf scan of her article and it reads as an apologia for korephilia with phrases such as "such a relationship enriches and broadens the girl's entire life" being used.

And damn, I still hate that her books are spoiled for me.
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Old 07-15-2020, 05:02 PM   #180
Rand Brittain
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Is literally anybody calling for the banning of authors, or that you should "stop reading" books that have bad opinions? Pretty much nobody is calling for that.

People are pointing out that Rowling is a terrible person and that we should stop giving her money and stop allowing her to be a celebrity because her proper place is in disgrace.

(The real reason for not teaching Shakespeare in school, or most of the other books that get taught in high school, is that kids don't enjoy him and forcing them to read "the classics" mostly just teaches them to hate reading.)
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