I used to admire a famous Indian classical singer, one of the top most, used to eagerly wait for him to come to the city, never met him or took his pictures, just sat and enjoyed his concerts. A few years ago through a friend, I came to know of the atrocities he committed on his wife. Since then I started hating him and gave away his CD's I had, and never attended his concerts after that.
Right from my school days I used to enjoy reading Byron, he had many issues which never bothered me, I don't want to go into them, I continued admiring him. I happened to read about his daughter Ada whom he abandoned as a week old baby, and never saw her again till the day he died. That really made me hate him.
I had never heard of a computer and never knew that there is something called a computer language. Byron's daughter who later became Lady Lovelace was a gifted mathematician, extremely intelligent, wrote the first ever language for a computer, which was then called an analytical engine, in 1834, she was just 17 at that time. Perhaps in the 50's or 60's one of the first modern computer languages was named after her, simply called 'ADA' She died very young, same age as her father, 36. Charles Dickens and Michael Faraday were among her friends. Thanks to you Ada that I am posting this on my blog.
I have no problems enjoying Oscar Wilde or Elton John. Oscar wilde was a big big mess. So was Vincent VanGogh, he was no saint, he did his best to be one, he studied to be a priest for a while. Good that he failed, we would have missed a great artist. His life is one big reason for the price tag of his work.
I find it impossible to shut myself from the private life of an artist. Knowing some thing more about the artist you admire, lands you in trouble. It happened to me with John Lennon. I am just scared of reading about John Steinbeck, who taught me more about human mind than Sigmund Freud ever did. I have avoided reading Steinbeck's life.
Kowning more about the person who has influenced my life has always depressed me.
Does the life of an artist interfere with your appreciation of his or her art music or literature ?
Is knowing more about the person you admire most, a good idea ?