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« Is Election Day here yet? | Main | Allen, Webb, and AIRQUOTE Literature AIRQUOTE »

October 27, 2006

More thoughts on Senatorial fiction

It was rather funny last night to watch Kathryn Lopez debating herself over the issue Catherina mentions -- but I was laughing with her, not at her, because I went through much the same thought process. When I first heard the Webb-as-sicko-novelist story on the news last night, the first thing I thought was, "No, no, no, no. You DON'T use fiction this way. Easiest thing in the world for Webb to say that this represented a character's point of view and not his own, that he had to write a certain way to make the point he wanted to make, reflect evil accurately, etc."

Then I went to Drudge to see for myself, and . . . um. Well, I won't recommend that our readers do the same, lest some have heart attacks on the spot. I'll only say this. I've read an awful lot of books in an awful lot of different styles in my years as a bookworm and an English major (including Lolita, Mr. Derbyshire), and I can think of no good reason to write what Webb wrote. This is the kind of thing that people -- particularly people with little children -- react to on a visceral level, and honestly, it's hard to blame them. (Now don't everybody start quoting The Simpsons at me. The instinct to protect "the children" is not always a laughable one, and anyway, I don't watch The Simpsons, so I got sick of having it quoted at me after the first, oh, three hundred times.)

If I may refashion a well-worn political line: Mr. Webb, I've read Flannery. And you are no Flannery.

(But Catherina, I must agree with you that I'm rather tired of hearing about what the candidates said in the '70s. One would think that what they say and do now would be slightly more to the point.)

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