Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A Question of PC

Doris Lessing, writing in 1992, in a back-to-the-future involuntary riposte to Harold Bloom, who questioned her recent award of the Nobel Prize for Literature (this excerpt via the New York Times):
The phrase “political correctness” was born as Communism was collapsing. I do not think this was chance. I am not suggesting that the torch of Communism has been handed on to the political correctors. I am suggesting that habits of mind have been absorbed, often without knowing it.

There is obviously something very attractive about telling other people what to do: I am putting it in this nursery way rather than in more intellectual language because I see it as nursery behavior. Art — the arts generally — are always unpredictable, maverick, and tend to be, at their best, uncomfortable. Literature, in particular, has always inspired the House committees, the Zhdanovs, the fits of moralizing, but, at worst, persecution. It troubles me that political correctness does not seem to know what its exemplars and predecessors are; it troubles me more that it may know and does not care.
Read the whole thing.

(Hat tip: Leopoldo)
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