past is present

Ruth Scurr ends her review of Louis Begly’s Why the Dreyfus Affair Still Matters with this paragraph:

Beyond being a clear introduction to the historical, legal, cultural and literary ramifications of the Dreyfus Affair, this book is a call to arms to contemporary creative writers to address the damage done to “the fabric of American society by the crimes and abuses of the Bush administration committed in the course of its pursuit of the war on terror.” Begley eagerly awaits the emergence of America’s Zola or Proust, to probe courageously the wounds of deep political division in great fiction. “Once again it is up to us poets to nail the guilty to the eternal pillory,” Zola wrote to Dreyfus’s wife. Begley argues that that time has come again.

I think Begley has a good point there.

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~ by Valerie Palmer on December 13, 2009.

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