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In other good news, this time in Latin America, the Nobel-prize winning novelist Gabriel García Márquez is dead.
One of the great phonies and bootlickers of leftist dictators has passed from the scene. Those who love freedom can only be grateful.

The Diplomad 2.0

8 Comments

  1. John Galt says:

    As for his literary style, I can’t say as it is not to my taste, but certainly his politics leave a great deal to be desired.

    though he never wavered in his belief that socialism was the only system capable of resolving the unequal distribution of wealth, he also wrote that the people in Eastern Europe lived in terror and were “the saddest I had ever seen”

    He went far beyond the “Champagne Socialist” style of the West and actively leached off and supported the Cuban regime of Fidel Castro from its early days. No wonder that in later years he and Fidel would go fishing together.

    Characteristically, he went on a “literary strike” in 1975 to protest at the rule of Augusto Pinochet in Chile (fair enough I suppose) and promising not to write another word until Pinochet was removed from power. Unfortunately, Pinochet was a bit more of a hardy perennial than “Cuba’s greatest friend” had appreciated, so by 1981 the “literary strike” was quietly abandoned. No staying power these Champagne Marxists.

    As I always say with these obituaries, I don’t wish for anyone’s death and Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s literary talent has brought pleasure to millions, so I’ll give him that, but not someone I would have bought a pint for, which is the ultimate accolade in life.

  2. James Strong says:

    Marquz wrote novels, at least two of which are great.
    How about a critique of his writing?
    Do his politics diminish his fiction?
    Only if Ayn Rand’s dreadful fiction, with its imagery as subtle as an atom bomb and its sledgehammer polemics, is augmented by her philosophy. And it isn’t.
    Rand’s novels are awful, her Objectivism is at least worthy of consideration.
    Marquez’s novels are great; stunning works of imagination. His politics are something else.
    You might just as well criticise Sir Alex Ferguson as a football manager because he supports the Labour Party.

  3. John Galt says:

    James – I deliberately went out of my way to segregate the literary output of Márquez, which as I say brings joy to millions (although not my taste) and his political views, which are the main issue here.

    As for Ayn Rand – I do agree that her views on rational self-interest as expounded by Atlas Shrugged are very insightful, but find her prose to be at best self-indulgent and at worst turgid.

    There are many libertarians (including RAB of this place) who have never read Atlas Shrugged, even though accepting the fundamental principles which Rand espouses because of these unappealing aspects of the books.

    Márquez is on record as promoting Marxism and the Cuban regime while ignoring the dreadful consequences for the people trod underfoot by the regime and for this he is called out as an arch-hypocrite – his writing is incidental to such criticism.

  4. Mr Ed says:

    Is it only myself who finds writers insufferable and overrated?

  5. John Galt says:

    JRR Tolkien was neither insufferable or overrated – so no.

    Lots of modern ones though – I quite agree, but not all of them.

  6. RAB says:

    As John rightly says… I have not read Ayn Rand because of her turgid prose style. I like my writers to sing not plod. I can forgive a writer a lot if they write well. I haven’t read any Marquez either (and I am reasonably well read) so can’t comment on his literary worth. I know what his political proclivities were though, and can you separate the man’s belief from his work?

    Generally I find… no you can’t. An uncle of mine died when I was about 12 and I inherited the complete works of Dickens, HG Wells, George Bernard Shaw and Shakespeare from him. I started right in on the Wells (sci fi like the Time Machine and War of the Worlds has more instant appeal to young boys) then proceeded to the rest.

    I soon recognised that those writers, the more I knew about their private lives and social and political views, the more I could see echoes in their writing. With the exception of Shakespeare of course, who we know very little about as a man and his views, but it is generally accepted that there is a lot of tippy-toeing going on in his plays with sly coded digs all over the place. Sometimes outright propaganda.

    Two writers I am big fans of, and who rarely let me down, are Peter Ackroyd and Andrew Miller, and I am with Nick M… I’ll open Borges any day of the week before I am tempted to plunge into Marquez’s so called Magic Realism.

  7. Mr Ed says:

    JG, my apologies for the lack of clarity in my post. Tolkien was a Professor of Anglo-Saxon etc. who wrote fiction and other works, I do not regard him as a ‘writer’ in the sense that the media use the term today, to refer to one who is defined by ‘writing’.

    I heard a modern ‘writer’ disparage The Hobbit on the BBC when obliged to review it, Stephanie Calman I believe, saying, without being contradicted ‘He had a pretty limited vocabulary, our friend Tolkien”.

    It is as if she were likening Faraday to the chief chemist for a drug cartel.

  8. John Galt says:

    RAB – Certainly got to agree with you about H.G. Wells.

    His most popular and arguably most accessible works, “The Time Machine”, “War of the Worlds” and “The Invisible Man” were written in a 3-year period between 1895 and 1898, but from around 1900 his socialist and ‘world government’ views took on greater and greater aspect until such works as his 1933 book “The Shape of Things to Come” were almost virtual set-pieces of socialist “World Government” propaganda.

    Indeed similarly to Márquez, Wells had visited the Soviet Union in 1934 and met with Stalin although it was pretty clear that Stalin viewed Wells as just another “Western useful idiot” the world media portrayed the meeting as very positive and as such Wells became yet another lefty-liberal who embraced the idea of the workers state, but ignored or downplayed the reality of it.

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