Communicator (communicator) wrote,

The desert of the heart

I'm so glad William Gibson is blogging again. And this time, he is more politically assertive. His language continues to be rather ostentatious:

Reagan's presidency was the fresh kitty litter I spread for utterly crucial traction on the icey driveway of uncharted futurity.

We catch your drift Billy boy.

Seriously, I dig him a lot, and I'm not exactly gob-smacked that his political leanings are rather like my own. And while his blog is assertive about his political beliefs, he says that his novels are not.

E. M. Forster maintained that didactic novels were, invariably, inherently less good -- as novels. If an author's politico-religio-social agenda is what directly drives the work, I take that to mean, no genuinely valuable interrogation of reality can take place, and the result will be a literary virtuality built as exclusively from the author's expressed political philosophy as that author can manage. This is best understood, an excellent teacher of mine said, by asking ourselves whether or not a fascist can write a good novel.

And it is true that people can read Gibson's dystopia and think that it sounds like a pretty neat idea, and this proves somethign or other about the independence of the work from the author's intention.

But - can a fascist write a good novel? Clearly yes, Mishima being a case in point. Libertarians too - Snowcrash is the bomb. Religious nutcases, misogynists, anti-semites, roll up because you can still write stuff we love to read.

Time that with this strange excuse,
Pardoned Kipling for his views
And will pardon Paul Claudel,
Pardoned them for writing well.

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