Birth of the Uncool
Netflix’s warts and all documentary, Birth of the Cool, has created a moral quandary and a questioning of judge the art, not the artist. Will I ever enjoy listening to Kind of Blue again knowing that Miles Davis abused and beat his wife when he was outside the recording studio?
I can appreciate the great art and inner torment of geniuses like Dostoyevsky and van Gogh. But what if the hurt involved other people, as in the case of Hemingway, Dickens, Orwell et al? Or the Victorian pedophilia of Lewis Carroll?
For me, 1984 towers as a warning against totalitarianism, regardless of Orwell’s personal life. But at what point does an artist’s behavior diminish the validity of their work?
For example, recent biographies of Carl Jung have described him as a “shameless adulterer,” “cruel father” and “sexual abuser.” If true, do these accusations negate him as a guide to individuation?