Monday, December 15, 2014

Ink Thorns and the Thin Veil

Every so often, we see a new essay come out about the perils of dating a writer. This month, Chloe Schama talks from her experience in New York Magazine with the creatively titled "Never Date a Writer. You’ll End Up As Material."

All joking aside, a writer should always be prudent about their liability under existing and potential slander/libel laws and the LIMITED protection caricature, satire, parody and fair comment provides, especially if the subject isn't really a public figure. There's also the question of the court of public opinion. Writing about others may be cathartic but it can also get expensive. Keep that in mind.

As someone who's been featured in a variety of poems, plays, short stories and other works, I've been pretty good-natured about it, and I hope other Lao American writers and community figures will be too. As artists, in general we should be sensitive to what it can mean for our subjects who aren't artists and create accordingly.

To me, if you absolutely MUST include someone who's jilted you in your artistic work, the resulting piece should be suitably epic or you should make it infamously mediocre. Creating vindictive, banal art should be so beneath you, if you're an artist of any credibility.

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