March 26, 2012
Christina Stead /// The Man Who Loved Children
The glib initial thought would be oh splendid, I can read the big nasty family novels that Franzen touts instead of the ones he writes. Next, that nebulous prophecy about American fascism comes to mind … though once we’ve confirmed that eugenicists should, by their own criteria, be sterilized, we find that the U.S. and European totalitarian models have an appalling sentimentality in common. Citizens are lovingly infantilized, cooed to about conveniently past and faded glory. The hazy abstract good is held above those material or pragmatic. There is never a philosophically serious effort to govern—only to busy, restrict and dazzle the masses like so many filthy kids.    

Christina Stead /// The Man Who Loved Children

The glib initial thought would be oh splendid, I can read the big nasty family novels that Franzen touts instead of the ones he writes. Next, that nebulous prophecy about American fascism comes to mind … though once we’ve confirmed that eugenicists should, by their own criteria, be sterilized, we find that the U.S. and European totalitarian models have an appalling sentimentality in common. Citizens are lovingly infantilized, cooed to about conveniently past and faded glory. The hazy abstract good is held above those material or pragmatic. There is never a philosophically serious effort to govern—only to busy, restrict and dazzle the masses like so many filthy kids.    

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