Friday, July 21, 2006

Help me to develop more grudges

In a discussion about writers and politics on RSB's blog, Andrew Stevens of 3AM Magazine writes that:
Dan Rhodes tried to get the other writers on the 2003 Granta Young British Authors list to participate in some joint declaration against the Iraq war. A handful made positive noises and the rest told him to fuck off. Some pundits said it wasn't the business of writers to do that sort of thing.
I didn't know about this. While I would have signed such a declaration had I been an GYBA, I also believe it's not the business of novelists as novelists to make such declarations. What interests me instead is the number of (US and British) novelists who have expressed support for the invasion and occupation. For I reserve a special kind of fascination, horror, disgust, deep loathing and hatred for these people, whoever they are. So far, I have read supportive statements from Patricia Duncker, Alan Sillitoe, DM Thomas and the incomparable Ian McEwan. It's the ninth circle for them! Any others?

1 comment:

  1. Comment in full here:

    3AM: Libby Brooks took the piss out of you a bit in the Guardian for trying to get the other authors on the Granta list to make a stand against the war in Iraq. Were you disappointed that so few responded? Do you want to name and shame some of them? More seriously, how did you react to the whole sorry Iraq affair?

    DR: Well, we were supposed to be representing Britain at a time when it was particularly embarrassing to be British, even more so than usual. The government was obviously insulting our intelligence, so I had the idea of getting this group of people who had been officially declared a bit clever to ask them to stop. Almost half were up for it. I'd better not name and shame in case there were people whose email was up the creek, but it certainly shortened my reading list. Fortunately most of the writers I really cared about were up for it. If we'd got three quarters or more signed up it would have been a small but satisfying kick in Blair's nuts. It wouldn't have changed a thing of course, but that's not the point -- it would have been another angle of protest. Libby Brooks' article was largely friendly but she was a bit condescending about this -- as if it's somehow wrong for writers to be politically gobby. Since when?

    And the moral of the story is don't pay attention to anything Libby Brooks has to say.



Please email me at steve dot mitchelmore at gmail dot com.

Blog Archive


Contact steve dot mitchelmore at Powered by Blogger.