but it’s always worth revisiting. Ms Walker is quoted as having said or written:

“Deliver me from writers who say the way they live doesn’t matter. I’m not sure a bad person can write a good book. If art doesn’t make us better, then what on earth is it for.”

Is this true, do you think? I mean there’s an awful lot going on in this statement.

  • What’s a bad person?
  • What’s a good book?
  • What about a book written by a bad person that resembles what we think of as a good book?
  • What if we don’t know anything about the writer? How to judge whether it’s a good book or not? (Think Beowulf and The Iliad & The Odyssey, just for obvious examples of what I mean).
  • Is art really “for” anything?
  • If so, do you agree that it’s to make us “better?”
  • What’s better?

Personally, I think Ms Walker has a great deal of banana oil to answer for but your mileage may vary, so I’d be glad to hear about it.