Thursday, September 10, 2020

Musings and Reviews: In defense of old, dead, white male writers


In defense of old, dead, white male writers

“Throw the book at me, I'm defending the old, dead, white male writers I love ...

“ ... Here’s the thing. If we don’t understand the past, then we don’t understand ourselves or the present, and we cannot we make intelligent choices based on the failures of the past to create a better tomorrow. Literature is the greatest guide to the past – probably greater than the study of history. History explains why the past happened, but literature lets you experience the past and inhabit the minds of the people who lived that past.

“Yes, so much literature from the past is uncomfortable to read, and it may be offensive, but we need to accept that for what it is, realise it just doesn’t conform to our own sensibilities, and use that literature for what it can provide us with today: rollicking entertainment and an understanding that our ancestors were very flawed, but we’re also very flawed, and the people of the future will be flawed too; however, by learning from the mistakes of the past perhaps we can help make tomorrow a little bit better than today.”

Read more of the “defense” via this link. 

Personal Postscript — Well, here is a closely related matter: The late literary critic Harold Bloom warned us that the western canon was under siege by cultural revisionists, and those activists continue to indict and banish many old, dead, white male writers. Like Bloom, friends, I am an unrepentant conservative defender of the western canon, and my passionate defense also extends often to offensive, flawed authors outside the canon. Arthur Conan Doyle is just one example. And so it goes.

Musings and Reviews: In defense of old, dead, white male writers.

Warwick Fuller

Saturday’s good reading and listening for the weekend 

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