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Showing posts from April 24, 2016

political novels

Since I am writing a novel that uses, among other things, politics, I’ve been thinking about the use of politics in fiction. There are critics who think that political fiction is fiction with a politician in it, just as a wedding cake is a cake topped with little bride and groom figurines. But that’s a narrow view of politics and even wedding cakes. In fact, it is a typically D.C., top down view of politics. A broader view would take in, say, Bellows, or Updike’s Rabbit novels.   There is a wonderful instance of the perils of politics for the novelist in Rabbit Redux, Updike’s reckoning with the sixties. Or, rather, Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom’s reckoning with the sixties. It is interesting to me that the overtly political things in that novel – for instance, Rabbit’s argument with his wife Janice’s lover about Vietnam – are oddly clunky, while the social stuff, the medium in which politics lives, is done in a thousand-fold scatter of brilliant nuances. Here is Harry in typical pro-war