5 thoughts on “Throw Them From the Balloon”

  1. Am I understanding correctly when I conclude that Voltaire won this fight?

    That’s precisely what’s wrong with the world, imho.

    Voltaire’s the first one I would have dumped.

  2. Oh please, Andrew Davies has been having some sort of midlife crisis for a long time that is proved every time he messes about the Austen canon. She’d have some sternly worded letters to Cass about it I’m sure. He hasn’t the courage of his convictions and is a lousy defender of the lady!

    Now, if it dependent upon the numbers in the fan base of each of these writers, there would be no question. There are more, active Austen fan sites now than in 1998 when I discovered that alternate universe. (Some of the adaptations that have spawned them are … vile, but Keira Knightley has to work now and then. I suppose.)

  3. You know, the writer of the column tried to make Homer appealing as a feminist. She was playing a female card to a mostly female crowd, but I’d think Austen would have the strongest sympathy vote among female readers, so the fact that she was voted out first might argue against playing on female sympathies. But the writer also said she couldn’t think of anything else to say in Homer’s defense.

    What about the Nazi sympathizer crap they threw against Wodehouse? Does that have any merit?

  4. I’ve read some things about the Nazi charge on Wodehouse. It rose from an act of stupidity worthy of a member of the Drones Club. What happened, as I understand it, was that Wodehouse and his wife were living in France when the Occupation came, and were interned along with some others, mostly British, in fairly comfortable circumstances.

    After being released, he made the idiot mistake of visiting Berlin, where a friendly German from the propaganda department asked him to record some of the humorous talks he’d done for fellow prisoners. He thought no more about it than that this would be a good way to let his American friends know that he was all right, and so he agreed. The talks, needless to say, were broadcast by the Nazis as evidence of how sophisticated and compassionate their system was.

    The English at home, who (unlike Wodehouse) were actually paying attention to the war (they couldn’t help it–they’re houses were being bombed) were horrified and appalled to hear a beloved humorist speaking on Nazi propaganda broadcasts. It took a long time for many of them to forgive him. Toward the end of his very long life, though, he was knighted by the queen.

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