>>He buys into that Aldous Huxley belief that Jews aren't political and all that they learned of politics, they learned from gentiles.
Um. Isn't the Old Testament pretty much nothing but politics gone bad? Especially factoring in Clausewitz's dictum that "war is just politics carried out by other means"?
Pretty dumb of ol' Aldous saying/writing that. Then again, anti-Semitism was pretty much enshrined in his set in Merrie Olde.
Iain M. Banks wrote the Culture sci-fi series, beginning with Consider Phlebas (1987); it's supposed to be a post-modern space opera done right, and sounds interesting to me, but I haven't read any of it yet. Feersum Endjinn is a non-Culture sci-fi book of his that sounds a bit like a mash-up of Russell Hoban's Ridley Walker and a cyberpunk story; it sounds like it might be good, but it also sounds like it could be very, very bad.
Not as familiar with the "literary" books he published without his m.i.
Not sure how viable it is to read the work only of authors whose views you mostly agree with; at minimum, you're looking at never reading, say, Eliot, Wells, Waugh, Woodhouse, and (if Frances Yates is correct, which I don't believe she is) Marlowe, as far as excluding anti-Semitic authors, off the top of my head. (Some would also kibosh Anthony Trollope, but I don't think that he actually was anti-Semitic; anti-Baptist, and, by extrapolation, anti-Southern Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals, etc., well, that's a different story. Oh, and anti-feminist; but see also Henry Miller, Robert Bly, Norman Mailer, etc.)
My biggest experience with not reading someone with whom I disagreed politically was my personal boycott of John le Carré because of the feud that he had with Christopher Hitchens over the fatwah on Salman Rushdie, but, surprise! I really like his stuff. All I did was cheat myself out of several hours of enjoyable reading all those years.
Then too, one needn't necessarily exclude authors from one's reading list because of their politics; usually their lack of actual writing ability is quite sufficient. Tom Clancy, Henry Miller, I'm looking at you. (Reserving judgment on Mailer; I've only read Tough Guys Don't Dance, and I don't remember much about it, except being unimpressed and having absolutely no desire to see the movie based on it that Mailer directed, even if Isabella Rossellini is the female lead.)
I really can't remember if I have ever read his books. I am totally drawing a blank on them.
But I totally agree with you on authors and artists. I have even reversed to Christian trope of "love the sinner, hate the sin" for artists since a lot of it is "love the art, hate the artist."
For me, the major source of consternation is Roman Polanski, because his movies are SO GOOD but he is such a terrible human being. Oh sure, there are some duds along the way, but for the post part I always enjoy the movies that he makes.
Other examples are Cat Stevens (if he only wrote that creepy "Wild World" song I would be ok in just hating everything about him, but he wrote the Harold & Maude soundtrack), Allen Ginsberg (Mr. NAMBLA) and pretty much most writers before 1920.
I've been using Shelley's "Trust in the art, not in the artist" as a guiding principle. But, yeah, same diff.
Mmm, for me, Polanski is about half genius, half hack. Very frustrating, and probably a good example of why Gore Vidal was right to mock the auteur theory that seems to have been the guiding light in film criticism ever since the Cahiers du Cinéma crowd propounded it.
Knife in the Water? liked it when I saw it, but it was so long ago, I should probably see it again to see if I still like it.
Repulsion? vastly overrated and dull, and absolutely no surprises whatsoever.
The Fearless Vampire Killers, or Pardon Me, But Your Teeth Are in My Neck? an OK goof, especially the Jewish vampire bit -- try making a Magen David with your fingers, kids! -- but dull, and not worth seeing twice.
Rosemary's Baby? actually pretty good once you're able to see it whole and not all chopped up for broadcast on network TV.
Macbeth? OK, one of the better filmed versions of Shakespeare's plays, and certainly more faithful and coherent than Orson Welles'; but I still prefer Jeannette Nolan's vigorous and unapologetic Lady Macbeth to Francesca Annis' simpering dishrag, "mouse that roared" Lady Macbeth. (Plus there was the fun of Welles' goofy costumes as Macbeth: Mongol chieftain, Statue of Liberty crown, WTF..?)
Chinatown? one of my all-time favorite movies, ever. Robert Towne didn't like Polanski's ending? Robert Towne can suck it.
The Tenant? see Repulsion.
Pirates? why, why, was this train wreck even made?
Frantic? a horrible, and horribly dull, "thriller," even if Peter Gethers (author of the Norton Trilogy, about his Scottish Fold kitty named Norton, who accompanied him everywhere and seems to have been better received than Gethers himself was, with Lauren Bacall and Harrison Ford, star of Frantic, being the notable exceptions) was one of the script doctors.
Bitter Moon? I can't unentangle my memories of this clunker from Paul Schrader's The Comfort of Strangers, but wev: both were duller than ditch-water.
The Pianist? certainly a better filmed dramatization of the Holocaust than Schindler's List, but probably not a movie I'm going to watch again more than once.
Haven't seen the rest of his work, although I should rent The Ghost Writer and maybe Cul-de-Sac. Netflix seems to have dropped The Ninth Gate from rotation, even though it's sometimes shown on "This TV," the crappy digital movie channel available for free in some areas. Can't say I'm losing sleep over not being able to see it in its entirety.
Cat Stevens also wrote and illustrated the kiddie book Teaser and the Firecat, which my wee bairn liked when he was small, though not as much as the trilogy of books about a book-loving kitty named Zoom (Zoom at Sea, Zoom Away and Zoom Upstream), written by Tim Wynne-Jones and illustrated by Eric Beddows. May have to scrounge up copies of those books -- strictly for future grandkids, of course. *Ahem*