Friday, July 20, 2007

Politics and Literature

Since reading the collection of essays by Camus in Resistance, Rebellion and Death, more than 40 years ago, I've never been able to resolve the question of the place of politics in literature.

The segment published in the NYRB, from J.M. Coetzee's latest novel (Diary of a Bad Year: due to appear in January) raises the question anew.

If you have any views on this, please do comment below.

Click the Post Title for link


  1. Dear Jacob:
    My name is Randolph. I was enjoying your Barking Dog blog and noticed that in addition to having generally excellent taste and being a creature of fine humanist instincts, you like my kind. I am a Labrador retriever and the main character and narrator of the book from Random House above (A Dog About Town). It is a mystery (the start of a series) and is also quite funny (J.F. Englert is the author and he is pictured on my blog with a stand-in for Yours Truly who is for all intents and purposes fictional). The book does not fall easily into a genre since it is quite literary and in a way an homage to several poets (W.H. Auden being one of my favorites). It has been hard work for this dog to get the word out to those who value writing, but people who have read it really like it, including the Lisa Guidarini who had this to say:

    "A mystery narrated by a Labrador retriever. Alright, sounds a little off-beat if that's all you knew about it, but imagine a character with a mix between the logic of Sherlock Holmes and the human failings of Dr. Watson. That's what we have in Randolph, the narrator of the first in this series of mysteries by J.F. Englert.

    Writing from a dog's perspective (an intelligent, Dante-loving dog at that), allows for an interesting take on humans. Looking at the things we do through the eyes of another species is occasionally very funny, and Englert's very clever in that way. Randolph, not being your standard dog, sometimes disdains even the things dogs do naturally, discriminating between dogs who relieve themselves just anywhere, and dogs like himself who prefer the sanctity of sheltering bushes."

    I would have emailed (not posted a comment) but could not find an email. If you can, please help me get the word out to dog and book lover's. J.F. Englert will be happy to send you a free copy so that you can read it and see what you think for yourself.

    Thank you!


  2. Hi, J.F. ... or is it Randolf?

    I'd think a lab would want to fetch the solution to the same crime over and over and over and over and over and...

    I'm not sure why you left your comment to this message. I'm going to open a new post where authors can leave announcements and descriptions of their books. I'll copy this from the Comment here and post leave it as a comment to that post.

    Thanks for visiting my blog, and good luck with your book.