I just wanted to clarify a wee bit on Wednesday's posting about art and politics. In true blog fashion, the post was a bit hurried and stream of consciousness and as I read the responses it's generated (and I am delighted, by the way, at how seriously and intelligently my inchoate ramblings have been continued elsewhere) I'm prompted to add that when I say "political art" I don't necessary mean The Feminist Novel or The Ethnic Novel, et alia, all of which we have in abundance (and a good thing, too). Rather, what I'm thinking about is art that will one day serve as a portrait of today's tumult. I understand where Ed is going with, say Margaret Atwood, but I don't know that people will read Cat's Eye to get a view of late 20th century Canada the way one reads Musil to get a sense of the collapse of pre-war Mitteleuropa or Bulgakov to experience the absurdity of Stalinism. We may differ on this point but my feeling is we're living through some exceedingly serious shit, and I'm looking for the creative engagement of said shit. As Dan pointed out in his comments, it was probably hard for artists in pre-war and inter-war Germany to avoid the subject, but I suppose I'm hoping that we won't need to get to that stage here before these issues are taken up by writers.
As for Kevin's post, which Dan has effectively demolished, perhaps I should clarify that what shut me down was the tired use of all the familiar right-wing hobgoblins - when multiculturalism (which certainly has been carried to its own excesses) is used as a straw man (sorry, straw person) for everything from bad literature to high gas prices, well it's just not an argument that speaks of a deep engagement with a question. Any post that posits "egalitarianism" as a bad thing doesn't seem worth taking up.