Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

The war against cliche

Pankaj Mishra in the Guardian writes one of the better pieces, I think about writers and artists becoming exercised about Islam and warns against writers becoming seduced by their worst enemy, cliche:

It is a depressing spectacle - talented writers nibbling on cliches picked to the bone by tabloid hacks. But, as Protestant theologian Reinhold Niebuhr pointed out, the "men of culture", with their developed faculty of reasoning, tend to "give the hysterias of war and the imbecilities of national politics more plausible excuses than the average man is capable of inventing". The "public conversation" about Islam proposed by Amis should not be avoided. Its terms have already been set low, and the bigger danger is that it will be dominated by an isolated and vain chattering class that, rattled by a changing world, seeks to reassure us by digging an unbridgeable trench around our minds and hearts.

1 comment:

lagatta said...

That is indeed a thoughtful article, with a lot to chew on. Odd to view liquidation of political opponents as typically "Asiatic"... One can think back long before the Nazis and other fascist regimes to assassinations and power in Renaissance Europe.