Thursday, January 29, 2009

Truth in Fiction

I've been re-reading Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise lately, which is about a young man of college and just post college age about 90 years ago. It continually strikes me that things haven't changed much at all in 90 years, just electronified. Does not the main character's rant late in the book ring true of our current political situation? Try changing "newspaper" to "blog":

"We want to believe. Young students try to believe in older authors, constituents try to believe in the Congressmen, countries try to believe in their states men, but they can't. Too many voices, too much scattered, illogical, ill-considered criticism. It's worse in the case of newspapers. Any... party... can own a paper that is the intellectual meat and drink of thousands of tired, hurried men, men too involved in the business of modern living to swallow anything but predigested food. For two cents the voter buys his politics, prejudices, and philosophy....

"And that is why I have sworn not to put pen to paper until my ideas either clarify or depart entirely; I have quite enough sins on my soul without putting dangerous, shallow epigrams into people's heads..."

This sounds like something a slightly more cynical, well, me might say, in the here and now. (That is, of course, if I were a literary genius like Fitzgerald.)

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