Lately, I've started reading Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game. It is an amazing book so far. I've had a hard time putting it down. One thing that's been bothering me a bit about it, though, is the author himself. He's infamous for his homophobic viewpoints and his work to prevent the legalization of gay marriage, among other things.
Why should I even let it bother me? It's not like it shows in the story at all. (Well, at least not in Ender's Game. Some people complain that it does with later books.) Besides, there are a lot of writers and musicians who I would probably not get along with if I met them in real life. The Declaration of Independence was written by slave owners. Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins is known to act like a total douchebag at shows. I don't let that get in my way of enjoying those things.
On the other hand, though, Mr. Card's beliefs are rather more directly related to me. He is an active participant in a movement that is trying to withhold rights from, well, me. Not me personally, per say, but a group to which I and many of my friends belong.
Still, the author is not the story, right? I can dislike him but still like his work, right?
Then I compare my thoughts about him to my thoughts about other writers I love, such as Terry Pratchett and John Green. John and Pterry are not only two of my favorite authors, but two of my favorite people. I don't see their works as separate from them as people. I see their books as extensions of them, little bubbles where I can meet them and share this world that they've given me a glimpse into. It's a shared experience between writer and author. It's harder to get that feeling with a man who I know for a fact dislikes me and others like me just for existing.
It's a disparity that's hard to reconcile, but unfortunately, I'm just going to have to live with the cognitive dissonance for the moment. Fortunately, if I don't think about it too hard, I can ignore it most of the time. Eventually, maybe I'll be able to work out some sort of twisty thinking that enables me to completely accept things as they are. For now, though, Ender is worth the headache.