It’s always fascinated me how some people create generic rules that simply suit them at the time of creating them.
For example, recently I was in a discussion with someone who was convinced that someone who writes on the same topic is obsessed and in an “unhealthy place”. Yet, of course, many writers and artists have spent a life time exploring a theme or a vision and been VERY healthy, both in body and mind, and even successful in the process. It is not for another to cast judgement over an artist focusing on a particular them for a period of time. A priest who is an exorcist isn’t necessarily a dark or bitter person. A human rights activist isn’t a bitter person. And nor is a writer who might make a longitudinal study of bitterness. The bitterness most likely originates from the reluctant reader who is scared of the Brechtian “mirror” that shows them their own bitterness. (Often suppressed to the point of hidden pain).
Also writers who explore darker themes may be serving humanity well, trying to answer deep and fundamental questions about humanity’s ills and challenges.
The person concerned was actually a bit paranoid and perhaps a little arrogant too, convinced that much of what they read was a personal attack on them. In my own view, they would not have been so fixated had the work they read not awoken realisations in them. Perhaps there was truth in what they read. Now, “poisoning the well” was one of the great fallacies of thinking in logic in ancient philosophy – trying to rubbish the originator of a thought you don’t like, or one that hits too close to the truth.
Creating a generic rule, and pretending it has come from some serious and truthful consideration of the world, in order to cover up to self and others a truth that has “hit home”, is ultimately comical and obvious.
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