Wednesday, January 25, 2017

You couldn't make it up

Only fairly recently did I post about sci-fi author Charles Stross' view that writers are continually expected to be "realistic" when reality in fact regularly goes beyond anything fiction puts forward, especially when it comes to characterisation. Philip Roth - author of a 2004 novel, The Plot Against America, that has been widely seen as eerily prescient with regard to Donald Trump's electoral triumph - has, in email correspondence with the New Yorker, suggested he's in agreement with that sentiment: "It isn't Trump as a character, a human type - the real-estate type, the callow and callous killer capitalist - that outstrips the imagination. It is Trump as President of the United States."

Also included in the correspondence was a memorably brutal critique of the man himself: "I found much that was alarming about being a citizen during the tenures of Richard Nixon and George W. Bush. But, whatever I may have seen as their limitations of character or intellect, neither was anything like as humanly impoverished as Trump is: ignorant of government, of history, of science, of philosophy, of art, incapable of expressing or recognizing subtlety or nuance, destitute of all decency, and wielding a vocabulary of seventy-seven words that is better called Jerkish than English." I eagerly await Trump's childish Twitter riposte, branding Roth a "third-rate writer"...

(Thanks to Adam for the link.)

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