Saturday, July 07, 2007

Could Do Better

Well, you can always count on Terry Eagleton to stir it, or to notice the emperor's nakedness, depending on your point of view. Tucked into the bottom half of the comment page in today's Guardian (as though the Guardian itself isn't too sure about it all) is an article by Eagleton writing off our contemporary writers as politically unengaged - even those we have thought of as politically acute. Rushdie's knighthood, he says, was actually his reward for turning from satirising the west to 'cheering on its criminal adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan', David Hare has turned from radical to reformist, and Christopher Hitchins 'who looked set to become the George Orwell de no jours' has 'thrown in his lot with Washington's neocons'. 'Most of the Angry Young Men of the 50s metamorphosed into Dyspeptic Old Buffers,' he says, 'Larkin ... was a racist who wrote of stringing up strikers', and our migrant writers such as VS Naipaul and Stoppard are 'often more interested in adopting than challenging the conventions of our place of refuge.

He makes one exception: Pinter; but unfortunately he finds him dreary.
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