Fiction chronicle May 2017
Sinners in the hands of an angry buddha
On Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders, Autumn by Ali Smith, Universal Harvester by John Darnielle, Ill Will by Dan Chaon, & I’d Die For You by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
For a president who does not read, or at least read books, Donald Trump has inspired an abundance of literary commentary. In this left-right media genre, critic after anti-Trump columnist recommends the books “essential” to understanding the political hour, like Nineteen Eighty-Four, The Origins of Totalitarianism, or The Magic Mountain. But the most suggestive addition to the syllabus is the Harry Potter franchise, with Trump cast as the dark lord Voldemort and liberals as the self-evidently righteous wizard boarding school that bands together to defeat evil. How fitting, somehow, that the same adults who knew Trump would lose, and then were emotionally damaged when he did not, would turn to books meant for children to apprehend reality. Sad!...
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