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Often I read books without knowing anything about the author. If I really love the book, it makes me want to learn about the writer, yet I try to appreciate the work whether I admire the person's private life or not.

Richard Bramwell

What a nice post Mr. Killian. Thank-you for not hewing to the usual politically correct crowd.

I read a book first for its own merits as I can grasp them. Then, as with the other visual arts, I get interested in the author's life and motivations.

It is not always true that events in the author's life detract from the brilliance of their work. In fact sometimes the brilliance of their work has me questioning the popular interpretations of reported events in their private life.

For example, Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged can be read a half dozen times, and the thinking reader will discover deeper and deeper meanings in her choice of events and words. Then, on hearing purportedly lurid details of her private life, one wonders how she could have done such things. One or more 'second thoughts' then has one wondering how someone could have sought to dupe such an amazing mind.

As a victim of a female version of Nathaniel Branden, I can say that I appreciate Rand's anger and grief at such betrayal. Had the Branden 'thing' gone further, I am confident that she would have taken the morally proper steps.

Yet, to the shame of lesser minds, they presume her literary work to be tainted because of the nature of her private life for which they have insufficient understanding to condemn, let alone apply to her written work.

In that sense, her written work speaks of a brilliant author, regardless of peoples' confusions over her private life.

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