In 1863 a Jewish acquaintance, Eliza Davis, wrote Dickens a letter complaining of the Oliver Twist character, Fagin, as "a great wrong" to the Jewish people. He replied that he had not meant any disrespect towards Judaism, but only meant to give his character a nationality. He made amends in Our Mutual Friend when he turned the stereotype upside down. The sympathetically drawn Mr. Riah is forced to front for a Christian moneylender, and a generous community of Jews shelters the heroine, Lizzie Hexam. Riah reflects, "[People] take the worst of us as samples of the best . . . and they say 'All Jews are alike.'" Mrs. Davis gave Dickens a Hebrew and English Bible inscribed, "Presented to Charles Dickens, in grateful and admiring recognition of his having exercised the noblest quality men can possess-that of atoning for an injury as soon as conscious of having inflicted it."
Commonsense will interrupt me at this point to remark that a further intensification of such fancies may lead to stark madness. But this is only true when the morbid exaggeration of such fancies is not linked up with a creative artist's cool and deliberate work. A madman is reluctant to look at himself in a mirror because the face he sees is not his own: his personality is beheaded; that of the artist is increased. Madness is but a diseased bit of commonsense, whereas genius is the greatest sanity of the spirit - and the criminologist Lombroso when attempting to find their affinities got into a bad muddle by not realizing the anatomic differences between obsession and inspiration, between a bat and a bird, a dead twig and a twiglike insect.
Which is the real frustration with Mr. Card. He is (or certainly was) a hell of a storyteller. A master of his particular niche of the form. If only he could have chosen to be like so many other greats and kept his toxicity to himself in his lifetime ... and left it to biographers etc to dig it up after his death, thus putting off the tarnish. But no, he's chosen to force feed us.
So, whatever, boycott the movie (which is the work of very many people) if you must. But please don't demand that I do so as well.
All this talk of alien fucking makes me secretly hope that this movie contains a suprise cameo by John Barrowman playing Orson Scott Card and it turns into "Springtime for People-Who-Share-Their-Views-Of-Homosexuality-With-Hitler."
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