In this Sunday’s New York Times Book Review, Tim Parks reflects on the sense of “heroism” that can come with readers and writers identifying with a greater cause in dark times. We’re seeing that now with the ways in which the literary community has been galvanized against the harbingers of reactionary authoritarianism and potential censorship in America.
But, he also cautions that this moral agency shouldn’t be indulged in for the wrong reasons:
Let us by all means defend our freedom of speech when and if it is threatened; but let us never confuse this engagement with our inspiration as writers or our inclination as readers. Above all, let us not get off on it.