Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Pulp fiction and reactionary politics

Danuta Keane is blogging today about why bad books sell so well and the connection between bestsellers, pulp fiction and reactionary politics. 

Definitely there is a connection between bestsellers and reactionary politics - think of Sapper and Dennis Wheatley, to name but two. Read Claude Cockburn's book Bestseller. (Cockburn was a Stalinist like many gifted writers but Stalinists are forgiven by Guardian reviewers more easily than reactionaries.) But there have been some good reactionary writers. Evelyn Waugh was arguably the best 20th century novelist. There have also been quite a few extreme leftist popular writers including Jack London and Eugene Sue. 

Another interesting thing is the number of political extremists who wrote children's books. Arthur Ransome was a Communist and married Trotsky's secretary. Henry Williamson was a fascist. There are other examples too which I do not call to mind at this moment. Can anyone help?

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