Edmund Wilson: “Flaubert’s Politics”

Flaubert was a gut-thinking right winger with a libertarian streak, a rentier worried about his nest egg first and last. I have never been able to figure out why he hated the bourgeoisie , but his hatred for socialists and the general population is unmysterious.

The contortions Wilson goes through to make Flaubert seem like anything other than what he was are highly amusing. To speak warmly of devoted house servants doesn’t make you a democrat. Feudal lords enormously admired their devoted house servants. Bill Buckley admired his devoted house servants.

This was a turning point for The New York Intellectuals (TM), when they decide that left politics was an entirely lost cause and they were going have to become something else. Pretending that apolitical and right wing writers were the REAL radicals was their halfway house on the way to becoming Cold War liberals.

 

Edmund Wilson: Flaubert’s Politics

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Published in: on January 21, 2017 at 7:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

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