How would the reading public react if a beloved, widely read American author—a poetic commentator on art, love, and history, with a world reputation and a Nobel Prize—were to publish a long apologetical essay ascribing virtually all of his creative inspiration to the successful struggle of the free world against Communism?

It is hard to imagine so versatile a writer in America today. But even if our culture boasted such a figure, it is even more difficult to conceive of such an essay being greeted with anything but howls of outrage. That is if it were even to see print. After all, some politically incorrect writings of Saul Bellow, a Nobel laureate, resulted in nothing less than an op-ed by a New York Times reporter expressing something close to criminal intentions about Bellow’s person. (The reporter in question, of course, suffered no sanction from his employer for putting his aggressive fantasies in...

 

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