Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Vachss: Robison, 2

From: Michael Robison (
Date: 17 Jan 2006

Robert Elkin wrote:

> I mean this in the best of spirits, of course,
> but--You Are Wrong, my friend, and your political
> comments appended are naive in the extreme. If you
> think the "right" is actually "pro-family" any more
> than is the "left," you are conflating the empty
> speech of politicians in the pay of big business
> with
> those of real people such as yourself and myself.
> But
> then again Hammett said it all a great deal better
> than I could ever hope to in Red Harvest, so I'll
> defer to that example (or do you scorn DH for
> "leftist" activity & disregard him?)

****************** And I accept it in the best of spirit, Robert. I agree that the specific comments you refer to are
"naive in the extreme." They were meant as a tongue-in-cheek response to Joy's post. You go on to mention that my assessment of the differences between the left and right is inaccurate. That might be true also, but it doesn't really concern me. It wasn't my intention to provide a concise analysis of the different modes of American political thought, but instead to describe a well-established political stereotype which Vachss is playing to for all he's worth. If it seems like an oversimplified caricature or parody, I can only shrug my shoulders and point to the text.

Your impression that I object to Vachss's writing because of its political slant is mistaken. I never said that I didn't like Vachss's writing because it was leftist. In fact, I believe that I have stated that I enjoyed his early works. My objection to his work came later on when it became too heavy-handed. I noted earlier that I believe that all fiction has a sub-text. When the sub-text becomes too strong, fiction has a tendency to degenerate into vulgar propaganda. I might agree with Ayn Rand's objectivism, but that doesn't lead me to praise Galt's tiresome monologue at the end of ATLAS SHRUGGED.

Concerning your comment about whether I scorn a writer for his actions, I would respond that for the most part I'm not interested in how they act. I'm interested in how they write.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 17 Jan 2006 EST