Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: poets, novelists, or any type of artist who suffered/got killed because of their art?

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2016

    poets, novelists, or any type of artist who suffered/got killed because of their art?

    Hi everyone

    Does anyone know of any novelists, poets, dramatist, or even just artists of any medium (painters, musicians, film-makers or even sculptors) who suffered for their art by being beaten up, interrogated, imprisoned, executed, or even "disappearing" because of their work?

    I'm not so much interested in journalists who have had this happen to them. Journalists are much more empirical and fact based.

    I know Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses caused his Japanese translator to get killed, and there is the staff of Charlie Hedbo, but can anyone else think of any artists - any where in the world - who have suffered because of the reaction to their work? I know Dostoyevsky was imprisoned, but I don't think it was for his novels.

    I assume in different regimes in the 20th century put different artists to death, or of course just got beaten up, interrogated, imprisoned, or being made to "disappear" because the government didn't like their work, but I'm just curious if anyone knew of any?

  2. #2
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    The USA... or thereabouts
    Blog Entries
    Baudelaire was fined but avoided prison as a result of the more "offensive" poems from Les Fleurs du mal.

    Egon Schiele spent 24 days in prison and had a number of his drawings destroyed on the charge of exhibiting erotic art work.

    A good number of the German artists, writers, and composers of the early 20th century were classified as "degenerates" by the Nazis and had their works banned from exhibition, seized from museums, galleries, and private collections and sold abroad or destroyed. They were also banned from teaching positions... and often banned from even continuing to create. Emil Nolde was banned from painting under penalty of death. He spent the Nazi years painting watercolors (no fumes/smells) and concealing these beneath the floorboards under a carpet and the dining room table. Any number of these artists were sent to concentration camps where they died.

    Both Diego Velazquez and Francisco Goya were interrogated by the Spanish Inquisition for having painted nudes... in spite of the fact that both were employed by some of the most powerful and wealthy patrons of Spain.
    Beware of the man with just one book. -Ovid
    The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.- Mark Twain
    My Blog: Of Delicious Recoil

  3. #3
    Dance Magic Dance OrphanPip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Kuala Lumpur but from Canada
    Blog Entries
    A number of Renaissance playwrights had run-ins with the censors at one point or another. In 1593 the British crown ordered the mass arrest of a number of poets, Thomas Kyd, the author of The Spanish Tragedy, was one of those arrested and tortured, he is believed to have given testimony against Christopher Marlowe which lead to his arrest for atheism and sodomy amongst charges of heretical writing. Marlowe was famously stabbed in the head while waiting for the results of his trial, possibly by government agents.

    A century later Rochester would be exiled from court for apparently distributing a poem about Charles II's proclivity for mistresses. By the Restoration they mostly got over torturing and imprisoning artist, although the 18th century was obsessed with lawsuits for libel instead, and open censorship of authors was common by the Walpole government.
    Last edited by OrphanPip; 03-19-2016 at 08:41 AM.
    "If the national mental illness of the United States is megalomania, that of Canada is paranoid schizophrenia."
    - Margaret Atwood

  4. #4
    Card-carrying Medievalist Lokasenna's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    In a lurid pink building...
    Blog Entries
    "I should only believe in a God that would know how to dance. And when I saw my devil, I found him serious, thorough, profound, solemn: he was the spirit of gravity- through him all things fall. Not by wrath, but by laughter, do we slay. Come, let us slay the spirit of gravity!" - Nietzsche

  5. #5
    Registered User Marcus1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014

    Bruno Schulz
    Walter Benjamin
    Osip Mandelstam
    Federico Garcia Lorca
    Ngugi wa Thiong'o
    Ko Un
    Dương Thu Hương
    Pramoedya Ananta Toer
    Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn


    Jafar Panahi
    Pier Paolo Pasolini
    Sergei Parajanov
    Aleksei German
    Apichatpong Weerasethakul


    Fela Kuti
    Last edited by Marcus1; 03-19-2016 at 01:43 PM.

  6. #6
    rat in a strange garret Whifflingpin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    On the hill overlooking the harbour
    Phrynicos - fined (494BC) for upsetting the Athenian leaders with his tragedy "The Sack of Miletus."
    Last edited by Whifflingpin; 03-20-2016 at 07:44 PM.
    Voices mysterious far and near,
    Sound of the wind and sound of the sea,
    Are calling and whispering in my ear,
    Whifflingpin! Why stayest thou here?

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    It is not always possible (nor desirable) to determine whether it was "art"or attitude that got writers into trouble. Sometimes it was both. Sometimes it was the repression that sparked the art following release or escape. Sometimes the attitude became the art after repression. Sometimes the art/ opinions were actually created in the prison. There are quite a number of writers like that. Somewhat tedious to name them right now but I'll throw in Soyinka, Bunyan, and Sologdin. The nasty century we just got shot of was particularly good at that in the atheist states. But previous centuries also threw up writers who were a thorn in the flesh of the powerful and suffered for it.

  8. #8
    Registered User fajfall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Naguib Mahfouz, an Egyptian Nobel laureate nearly killed in Egypt, for upsetting Muslims.

    A group of Iranian writers were banned by Iran's gov from attending a conference abroad. The gov kindly changed its mind and supplied them a bus and driver. Late at night, when all were asleep on the bus, there driver tried driving it off a cliff. One passenger realised, alerted everyone else and the bus narrowly missed killing them all (the driver had already escaped). They found gov media ready at the scene to report the 'accident' before it had even occurred. This was recollection of the event which I read in Reading Lolita In Tehran.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 60
    Last Post: 02-20-2011, 12:35 PM
  2. Cavalier poet;puritans poets and neoclasics poets!!! HELP
    By Regina61285 in forum Poems, Poets, and Poetry
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 02-12-2009, 08:50 AM
  3. Pronouncing Novelists Names
    By Inderjit Sanghe in forum General Literature
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: 04-26-2008, 10:08 AM
  4. Who suffered the most?
    By nominal in forum The Scarlet Letter
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 07-26-2007, 12:25 PM
  5. Nineteenth Century Female Novelists
    By SinnerSaint in forum General Literature
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 12-17-2005, 10:25 AM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts