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Caught this one in today’s NYTimes, in an article by novelist Doris Lessing, winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature:

“Art — the arts generally — are always unpredictable, maverick, and tend to be, at their best, uncomfortable.”

[Thank you, Ms. Lessing. From time to time I need to be reminded of that.]

She continues with this:

“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.

“Does political correctness have a good side? Yes, it does, for it makes us re-examine attitudes, and that is always useful. The trouble is that, with all popular movements, the lunatic fringe so quickly ceases to be a fringe; the tail begins to wag the dog. For every woman or man who is quietly and sensibly using the idea to examine our assumptions, there are 20 rabble-rousers whose real motive is desire for power over others, no less rabble-rousers because they see themselves as anti-racists or feminists or whatever.”

It’s an excellent article, and I strongly recommend that you read it.

– Ryl

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