I can remember when I was a child first learning about fascism through history with stories of World War II and the Nazi empire, learning about all the things that fascists tried to control. Many of the things on the list I could understand, disdain for human rights, rampant nationalism, obsession with national security but I never really understood why fascists hated the arts so much.
As I have grown, I have learned to understand why fascism hates the arts, and in fact all it cannot control. Authors, artists, poets, they tend to be intellectual people, critical thinkers, much harder to mass control, and creative people hold their own influence, in their writings, paintings and works.
Recently we’ve heard much about the rise of the alt-right, and again the arts has risen up in response with many authors including, Neil Gaiman, J. K Rowling and many more speaking up about the current political and social climate. Most noteably possibly are the responses by J. K Rowling in recent days as a response to the travel ban affecting some Muslim majority countries. In the unlikely event that you missed it, here’s a couple of them.
Well, the fumes from the DVDs might be toxic and I’ve still got your money, so by all means borrow my lighter. pic.twitter.com/kVoi8VGEoK
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) January 31, 2017
Guess it’s true what they say: you can lead a girl to books about the rise and fall of an autocrat, but you still can’t make her think. pic.twitter.com/oB7Aq6Xz8M
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) February 1, 2017
Actually, we’re thinking of selling them in pairs in future; a ‘read one, burn one’ deal for those who like the magic, but not the morals. https://t.co/EPsXoDodr7
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) February 1, 2017
J.K Rowling has been hailed both a hero and a demon in response to the spat but says the response has mostly been positive. As she right points out in another tweet
History has shown that artists tend to be a liberal bunch, from John Steinbeck to George Orwell to Dr. Seuss, many authors through history have fought social injustice and inequality through their writing.
Dr. Seuss books are banned in some dictatorship countries for promoting far left ideals, and during World War II the author and illustrator created a series of political cartoons. You can see one of those images above.
As you can see from the book cover, the cartoon is from World War II, and as you can see from the mother’s sweater it’s a response to America’s refusal to let Jewish refugees into the USA.
The efforts of Seuss during this time were brought together in a 1999 book, Dr. Seuss Goes to War: The World War II Editorial Cartoons of Theodor Seuss Geisel, another political book that has seen increased sales in recent weeks, along with 1984, The Handmaid’s Tale and other dystopian novels that have found themselves back in the bestsellers’ list.
Seuss himself came under the same kind of criticism that Rowling has come under today, but he didn’t let it stop him.
While the For Reading Addicts team do not compare ourselves in artistic merit to the likes of Rowling or Seuss, we are proud to be part of the same artistic collective, and we too will continue to ride out the criticism of current times and post from our hearts with conviction.
However, Doctor Zhivago was released in a mire of controversy due to the way it portrayed Soviet Russia. The book was immediately rejected for publication in the USSR, and the Communist Part of the Soviet Union were enraged, forcing Pasternak to reject the Nobel Prize. This in itself is interesting enough, but in declassified files we’ve learned that the CIA arranged the first ever publication of the book in Russia. Read More
Jones has written a 27-page proposal for the book with author Neil Strauss and its aim will be to inform readers about “the front lines of the war for your mind.” He promises it will be “a classic that will be … around for generations” and that, if you read it, you “will never look at your life or your world the same way again.” It certainly looks like Jones has big plans for his book.
Since Trump took office just over a year ago, he has been hotly debated by all sides of the political spectrum. Fire and Fury claims to give a behind-the-scenes look at the Trump administration. The amount of public interest in Trump has seen the book fly off the shelves and even the mega online store Amazon sold out of copies upon the book’s release. Read More
January 2018 has seen further evidence of the process the publishing team went through before they decided the memoirs were not your average right-wing non-fiction. Critique and comments made by Yiannopoulos’s editor have been made public thanks to the documents being put forward in the earlier court case. Sarah Mei on Twitter had realised this and read through the manuscript’s comments with glee before posting them online.