The Instigator
buckeyes3992
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Ore_Ele
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points

Authors' unfinished work should not be published

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/1/2010 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 952 times Debate No: 11056
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (3)

 

buckeyes3992

Pro

Many authors have passed away before finishing a piece that on which they had been working. This piece may still have words and chapters to be added or it may simply need adjustment. Regardless, too often the posthumous work does not live up to the authors usual standard of work. I argue that despite our extreme curiosity, the authors' work should be left as is, because they would not want their unfinished work to be released to the public.
Ore_Ele

Con

I thank Pro for starting this debate and hope that it turns out to be a very educational experience for all.

Pro is saying that Authors' unfinished work should not be published. Pro is saying this because...
1) "...too often the posthumous work does not live up to the authors usual standard of work."
and 2) "...because they would not want their unfinished work to be released to the public."

While I agree with point 1, that they often do not live up to the author's standards, I don't see how this is justification to never publish them. I also must question point 2. How does Pro know that they don't want the unfinished work to be ever released? Unless they have documents that explicitly state that they do not want it released (like a will), it is nothing more then a piece of property that is passed to their children (or other beneficiaries) for them to use as they so wish. If the author does express in his or her will, then that should be upheld, of course.

Personally, if I was working on something and got it only 90% complete, whether it be a book or a piece of art or anything that required a lot of effort. I'd be pissed if it was locked away from the general public that it was originally meant for.

Bottom line, the only people that should have any say whether an unfinished work should or should not be presented are the author himself (through a will) or through the family that would best know his desires far greater then you or I or the government could.
Debate Round No. 1
buckeyes3992

Pro

I thank con for his response and I apologize for the delay in my response.
Also, let's assume that there is nothing stated in the will pertaining to the release of the unfinished work. Obviously whatever was stated is what should be fulfilled.

First, you mentioned how you don't see a lower standard of work as justification to publish said work. Later, you stated "if I was working on something and got it only 90% complete… I'd be pissed if it was locked away from the general public that it was originally meant for." This may be how you feel, but I would not want my unfinished or low level work to be released to the public. Quite frankly, I would find it rather embarrassing to have this released because of the standard to which I am expected to meet. I suspect this is the same attitude of high profile authors. They have a quality that the general public expects them to meet. If they do not feel they have met that quality, they will not release the work. Unfortunately, they pass away before they can fulfill this. The beneficiaries should take this into account.

Also, I agree that the family (or other beneficiaries) deserve the final say since they will know the will of the author better than others. However, I highly doubt that this decision left for the family alone to consider the preference of the author. Imagine all the requests from the public and those offering money to gain the rights to the author's work. It has to be extremely difficult to turn down a large sum or extraordinary public pressure pertaining to the unfinished works. It is unfair for the author and the family to be pressured like this.

I would assume the author would want a low level or unfinished work to be released to those who expect more out of him or her. Also, the curiosity and profitable opportunities of others should not be used as factors in the release of such an item.
Ore_Ele

Con

Okay, so we are now assuming that there is nothing said in the will, one way or other, in regards to what an author wants done with his or her unfinished work.

"First, you mentioned how you don't see a lower standard of work as justification to publish said work. Later, you stated "if I was working on something and got it only 90% complete… I'd be pissed if it was locked away from the general public that it was originally meant for." This may be how you feel, but I would not want my unfinished or low level work to be released to the public. Quite frankly, I would find it rather embarrassing to have this released because of the standard to which I am expected to meet."

I think, based on this, we can agree that different authors would have different desires and views on their works. And because of this, it is not fair to broad brush them all that they should not (or should) be released. I still contend that it should be up to the family/beneficiaries to make the best decision as to what is the original author's desires.

For the work that is unfinished that may be finished by someone else who is not as good as the original author. It would be expected that some honesty is implemented and the final work is not passed off as entirely the original author's but as a compilation from the original author and the finishing author. As is seen here [1]. JRR Tolkien died and his son finished the work for him and published it.

We can also see in another case where it is clear by actions that author wants the work published [2]. Jane Austen worked mush faster in order to finish her final work (which still ended up being published after her death).

Different writers (which can be stretched to artists in general) have different wants and desires for their works after they have passed away. If they have not explicitly stated what they want in their will, then the individuals who know them best (their family and beneficiaries) can make the next best decision, rather then society as a whole. Broad brushing, saying that none should be released is not fair to the families or to the original author, since we do not know their desires.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...(novel)
Debate Round No. 2
buckeyes3992

Pro

buckeyes3992 forfeited this round.
Ore_Ele

Con

Unfortunately, my opponent was unable to post the final round. I hope that my opponent is okay and that nothing is wrong.

I must extend my arguments and wish both of us the best of luck.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by buckeyes3992 6 years ago
buckeyes3992
I am fine and thank you for your concern. This was a fine debate and unfortunately I was unable to post my final round due to different reasons. Hopefully this was an insightful debate and people enjoyed it.
Posted by Ore_Ele 6 years ago
Ore_Ele
I would argue against that, however, I do not wish to debate in the comments. Maybe if the vote gets one sided to where any "debating" in the comments would not change the outcome, I'll go ahead and comment on it.
Posted by undefined 6 years ago
undefined
In reference to Tolkien's unfinished work. His son didn't finish his work he published the work exactly the way it was when Tolkien died and then added his own commentary and explanations. I've read both the Lost Tales 1 and 2 and Christopher doesn't even pretend that he could have finished any of the works. In fact you can see as you go through the book the stories become less and less finished. Reading them is a very interesting experience though you can almost see Tolkien's mind working as Middle Earth comes to life.
Posted by studentathletechristian8 6 years ago
studentathletechristian8
This topic be cappin'.
Posted by Koopin 6 years ago
Koopin
Have to agree with OreEle.
Posted by Ore_Ele 6 years ago
Ore_Ele
my second link, the "(novel)" is suppose to be a part of the link, so just add it in to go to the novel, titled "persuasion".
Posted by INTJ 6 years ago
INTJ
Hi buckeyes3992, I agree with you. Good luck on the debate.
Posted by Maikuru 6 years ago
Maikuru
I love this topic. I hope this turns out well.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
buckeyes3992Ore_EleTied
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Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by quarterexchange 5 years ago
quarterexchange
buckeyes3992Ore_EleTied
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Reasons for voting decision: counterbomb
Vote Placed by Ore_Ele 6 years ago
Ore_Ele
buckeyes3992Ore_EleTied
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Total points awarded:01