Can you fall in love with someone because of his writing?

Published June 16, 1998 4:44PM (EDT)

Dear Mr. Blue,

Is it possible to fall in love with someone because of their
writing or, more realistically, fall out of love with someone when
you realize that you really, really dislike their work? How does one separate
the creator/creation thing? Or is it worth it to even try? Or should I
save my Internet fees and look into low-cost therapy?

Manic in Midtown

Dear Manic,

People fall in love with writers all the time: Isn't all
writing a form of courtship? And this love affair is a precarious one.
Writers tend to be restless, wanting to move on artistically, leave
their comfortable niches and make gorgeous mistakes, and surely the
beloved reader is going to take offense.

But this is all merely a game,
yes? You're not talking about falling in love with a writer's work and
then falling in love with the actual person who wrote that work, are
you? If you are, don't. Any low-cost therapist would tell you the same

By Garrison Keillor

Garrison Keillor is the author of the Lake Wobegon novel "Liberty" (Viking) and the creator and host of the nationally syndicated radio show "A Prairie Home Companion," broadcast on more than 500 public radio stations nationwide. For more columns by Keillor, visit his column archive.

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