Saturday, October 09, 2010

A conservative approach to literature

Oh, the laughs Andrew Bolt creates. He has to be Australia's best answer to the claim that comedians are all leftwing.

Now that Mario Vargas Llosa has won the Nobel prize for literature Bolt wants to claim him as a conservative writer (whatever that pigeon-holing entails) and presents this as proof that great writers are conservative! And how do we know that they're great? Well, because they're conservative, of course. Really, don't be so dense. As if to prove his assertion, Bolt comes up with the most tortured grammar that actually states the opposite of what he intends (though determining just what Bolt intends with his dog whistle comments is often difficult):

Many of the greatest writers are conservatives, unlike most of those who aren’t.

So most of the greatest writers aren't conservatives? Or something. Given that example, Bolt can't even be considered a mediocre writer.

This simply demonstrates the extreme Right's need to label and categorise in order to maintain their belief in an Us (good) and Not-Us (evil).

Then Bolt comes up with a Little List of Favourite Conservative Writers (again, they're conservative because Bolt claims they are — witness his comment about Dickens).

Tolstoy's in there (yes, the arch Socialist, free-the-serfs, give-up-property Tolstoy) but strangely Ayn Rand isn't. EoR thought all conservatives had salacious images of her under their beds for 'entertainment' purposes. Though maybe she's too libertarian and not conservative enough.

Bolt's second choice is Jean Raspail. Hardly a 'great' writer, EoR would have thought. Though, if Wikipedia is to be believed, EoR can understand why Bolt would consider him the epitome of literature:

He encountered a huge controversy with his book The Camp of the Saints (1973). In it he predicted the overwhelming of Western civilization in a 'tidal wave' of Third World immigration. His critics accuse him of right-wing extremism on the basis of the views expressed in the book. The book is popular among immigration reductionists

Also, almost by definition, "great writers" means no women, and no non-Caucasians.

And, daring to invoke Godwin's Law, EoR wonders why Hitler isn't there as well for his wonderful romantic comedy, Mein Kampf? Now there's a great conservative writer. And someone who had similar ideas about racial purity and the criminal classes.

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