Friday, November 20, 2009

THE CHILDREN OF ZHDANOV. Oh shit: From John J. Miller, mastermind of "The 50 Greatest Conservative Rock Songs":
I plan to assemble a list of great conservative novels for NRODT, probably for an issue in early 2010.
He directs the brethren to this place, where they may leave suggestions. It begins promisingly...
I’ve always had a feeling that Dean Koontz books lean right and I thoroughly enjoy them.
...and devolves from there:
I had always hoped to have the time to write a book on how the Harry Potter series is a conservative masterpiece.
Oh please, nobody tell him.
The sheer all out conflict of good and evil. The terror inflicted on the world by Voldemort and crew...
Who were Muslims.
I do not know whether Ms. Rowling would ascribe to it in this way, as she takes a shot at GWB in the opening of one of the books...
But what would she know? Fortunately, another commenter steps up in defense:
In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, when JK Rowling is referring to the “horrid man” who is U.S. president, the actual timeline of the novels suggests she is referring to Bill Clinton.
Shirt-retucking trumps Satanism! Next up:
Say, I hope it’s okay to do a little BSP (blatant self promotion) here. I’m a novelist. I’m center-right... I’ve had four young adult mysteries published (the first was an Edgar nominee) and two humorous women’s fiction (as Libby Malin). I wish more conservative publications would pay attention to young adult literature, by the way...
With these promotional instincts, how can she fail? Next!
“American Pastoral,” by Philip Roth, so much so that he wrote an entire novel with the ideological purpose of taking it all back.
One wishes the commenter had provided a list of Roth novels demarcated by ideology. No doubt The Breast would be leftist, because of its identification with The Other.
A perhaps surprising suggestion is Twain’s “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.”
I re-read this in the early nineties when I was still a liberal, and I think it began the process that lead me to change [by '94 a full fledged Contract With America voter!]. It’s very subtle [else my liberal anti-bodies would have detected the subversion occuring] but it was a great read in its own right. The debate in the town with minimum wage laws is by turns frustrating and hilarious, due to the familiarty with which we see it play out again and again before our eyes.
Hank's plan to overthrow the Catholic Church must have escaped his notice, as must the general sympathies of its author. Other choice bits:
Lolita, if you can get past the allegorical child molestation, is a book about controlling your own circumstances even when it feels like something much larger is looming over you. Is it applicable today? Only if you think Humbert Humbert is the government...

Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” Van Helsing’s reverent use of the consecrated Host to stop evil seems very conservative these days. [They'll also love the sequel!]

The Great Gatsby: A study of the importance of personal character, and the lack of it from many supporting characters.
As with any Kulturkampf, there are accusations of wrongthink: "I disagree firmly with those who have suggested Steven Hunter’s Bob Lee Swagger novels. Hunter is, as you would expect from a film reviewer for major dailies, a reflexive liberal, and those ideas permeate his writing and frequently issue from the mouths of his characters." Back to your spider-holes, anti-Party gangsters!

Some of the brethren are more forgiving as to what makes the conservative cut. "I don’t imagine that Faulkner was self-consciously a conservative," says one. "But many of his novels delve deeply into the issue of race in America that we have not begun to see the end of. And he looks at the questions from many perspectives and never falls into the useless left wing class consciousness formulas." This would seem to give Miller an enormous out -- if it's not explicitly Marxist, it's right-wing. And given Miller's previous method ("[Who'll Stop The Rain,] written as an anti–Vietnam War song, this tune nevertheless is pessimistic about activism..."), rest assured he'll make use of it, as most of the other suggestions are sci-fi and Mark Helprin.

Do any of these people ever read books, watch movies, listen to music, or do anything simply for pleasure and edification, rather than in search of political self-justification? And do they have any idea that their Zhdanovist schtick directly contradicts what they profess to believe?

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