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Dic-Lit

Now don't get any naughty ideas. I first heard about this on NPR.

"For eight years, Saddam Hussein has been carving out an alternative career as a writer of romantic and fantasy fiction, full of thinly veiled political allegory, grandiose rhetoric and autobiography. He has published four novels in less than five years - prolific for someone whose day job was, presumably, fairly demanding.

Many statesmen and revolutionaries have been consummate writers of prose and poetry. Saddam, however, is part of a less honourable tradition of despots who have turned their attentions to the arts. From Nero to Napoleon, Hitler to Mao, there is sufficient output to suggest that we acknowledge this as a genre in its own right: dictator literature.

What motivates dic-lit authors? They know critical reaction to their work is unlikely to be genuine. It may be that the act of creating 'art' is an extension of the urge to control. Fiction in particular offers the author a malleable world."

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
weather_fan
Nov. 16th, 2004 07:24 pm (UTC)
I heard that same report on Weekend All Things Considered, and I had known that Saddam had penned a novel or two, but the depth of the report amused me. Killer material. Oops. I mean, good stuff.
surrealkitten
Nov. 16th, 2004 07:51 pm (UTC)
*chanting while somewhat unsettled* hitler was a painter. hitler was a painter.

this doesn't just hurt me in a 'ooo, how creepy, ha ha' it legitimately hurts me in the stomach.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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