Writers and Politics

“The best place for a writer is to remain on the fringes of society so as to keep a clear head, maintain alertness and avoid becoming another victim of the political propaganda apparatus…

Any political ideology serves politics … while it is impossible for writers to separate themselves entirely from society, they should avoid meddling in politics.

Literature and arts … should be a wakeful observation of the world and present the doubts one has about the world, not to negate it…

However, this is not to “entirely deny the value of having a person from literary circles in government … the example of Andre Malraux, who made a great contribution to culture and the humanities when he was French minister of cultural affairs.”

from: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2012/06/09/2003534901

Stendhal had a different take:

“Politics in a work of literature is like a gunshot at a symphony, it adds an element of thugness and simplicity, and yet we cannot ignore it. Although for many reasons we would prefer to remain silent about some of the subjects discussed herein, unfortunately we must talk about these nasty things.”

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One response to “Writers and Politics

  1. In futuristic speculative fiction, a writer can always use past references to political views or perhaps show the errors of certain government decisions as a backdrop to a good story where such political statements influence the characters’ actions. They don’t necessarily have to name names, but the history can peak for itself.

    There are writers out there who must report on the political situations of the time. It’s hard to stay neutral about certain issues and a writer will usually slip in their slant on the subject. Having a writer in a political position might help to re-write our copyright laws in our favor, as well as maintain funding for the Arts, including writing.

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