Towards the end of this edition of Friday Lite is a feature on some of English literature’s pillars, authors who have defined story telling through their exquisite craft and infinite imagination. But the article does not extol their awe-inspiring talent, instead it offers a sneak peek into their fragile minds and brittle characters.

Now, I understand that all of us have chinks in our armour. Defined by our idiosyncrasies, it makes us who we are. And in case of artists, and those with a creative bent of mind and all those who are driven by their extraordinary talent, aspirations and ambitions, more so. Their brilliance is a product of their flawed and fractured mental framework. So, by that yardstick, do their superior successes absolve these geniuses of their frailties?

Don’t think so.

But the issue isn’t that simple. The dichotomy arises when these stalwarts of their respective fields are judged on the basis of their big and small imperfections.

Would you dismiss these stars of their respective galaxies as hypocrites, propagating a make-believe world that exonerates them of their misdemeanours?

While the ball will always lie in the court of social order, it’s upon us to decide whether we wish to forgive them for their follies and accept them for who they are, or crucify them for their crimes and in the process try to obliterate their contribution from public memory.

For, the fact of the matter is that we can only try. Their contribution to our collective culture and context is unmistakable.

Tell me what you think...

Reach me at mshekar@gulfnews.com.

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