Woody Allen: separating the art from the artist

Woody Allen: separating the art from the artist

Yesterday I wrote about not judging the art of an artist based on their personal life in the context of the Woody Allen sexual abuse allegations, and many people reacted strongly for and against, and many more wondered why I piped in or why I chose to write about it when I so rarely post Op-Eds.

The truth will inevitably shock you and takes a lot of balls to write about. Not too long ago I attempted suicide. I was nineteen. Lost. Alone. Scared. Subsequently, after my suicide, I was date raped.

I don't side at all with Woody Allen, if anything? I believe he did it. As Lena Dunham said, "these are not the stories we tell for fun".

Somehow, with great courage, I managed to heal. Healing is constant and happens every single day. All the same I am petrified I haven't been hired because The Powers That Be have reviewed my personal file and see me inadequate (despite how strenuously I work on this very blog I've founded and put blood, sweat and tears into). I have also not submitted a story in forever for fear of rejection. Albeit, that fear of rejection was already present but is now augmented by a damning fear brought on by my personal life. 'Do they think it's not good because they know of my past sins?' I wonder, 'or is writing just not my forte?'

Being on the other side of the Woody Allen spectrum and sharing it with Dylan Farrow, my apparent defense of an artistic legacy versus my condemnation of the artist himself may seem contradictory, and some can write it off as such.

But I suffer from depression, and I attempted suicide once, I was raped once. I don't want my demons to speak for me when I can transmute them and turn them into something as beautiful and labored over as a short story or a poem or a painting.

It's so easy to put things into a binary perspective or to judge a piece of art because a sentence wasn't constructed to our satisfaction or we didn't like the color a painter used or a chord a musician strummed. But that art? That art took courage. Writing this? Took incredible courage.

I ask you to look at the art itself as it stands alone, and not to judge an artist on his or her personal life or demons.

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Filed under: Opinion

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