English literature -- 20th century -- History and criticism. Politics and literature -- English-speaking countries. English literature -- 19th century -- History and criticism. Authors, American -- Political and social views. Authors, English -- Political and social views. American literature -- History and criticism. Politiek. Letterkunde. Engels. Literatur Geschichte. Aufsatzsammlung Schriftsteller Englisch USA Groﬂbritannien
xx, 358 p.
Verso 25 cm. Includes index./ Includes bibliographical references and index./ Also issued online. Christopher Hitchens. Book
LC: PR478.P64; Dewey: 820.9/358
ISBN: 1859847862; 9781859847862 LCCN: 00-54986
"Many have seen the encounter between literature and politics as necessarily fraught. Norman Podhoretz, for instance, examined the intersection under the rubric 'The Bloody Crossroads' (a term he borrowed from Lionel Trilling). Christopher Hitchens, in this sparkling engagement with literature and its producers, prefers a different approach. Taking inspiration from Shelley's description of the poet as an 'unacknowledged legislator', he shows that whilst the engagement between writers and those in power is not always smooth, it generally embodies a dialectic that is worth investigation." "Hitchens provides rich evidence that his own sallies as a political journalist are nourished by an erudite familiarity with a broad sweep of novelists, essayists and poets. In these pages Oscar Wilde's profound radicalism is uncovered; George Orwell's role as a fulcrum between left and right is carefully appraised; the languid irony and cosmopolitanism of Gore Vidal are celebrated; and a discussion of the fatwah issued against Salman Rushdie prompts a meditation on the West's misunderstood encounter with Islam. Along the way, a refined and knowledgeable palate samples offerings from, amongst others, P. G. Wodehouse, Arthur Conan Doyle, Dorothy Parker, F. Scott Fitzgerald, T. S. Eliot, Christopher Isherwood, Anthony Powell, Saul Bellow, Alan Bloom, Philip Larkin and Patrick O'Brian, and dethrones the overrated, conspicuous among them such figures as Tom Wolfe and Isaiah Berlin."--BOOK JACKET.