Wieseltier, Leon
February 2003
New Republic;2/17/2003, Vol. 228 Issue 6, p42
Offers observations on an article written by Louis Menand in the 'New Yorker' magazine in which he criticized author George Orwell. Liberals and conservatives tussle over his true teachings. Yet finally Orwell is worth tussling over: He had a narcotic relationship to principles. Menand sneakily makes Orwell over in his own diffident, perspectivist, mildly anti-intellectual image, so as to relieve us of Orwell's obligations. For the 'New Yorker's' authority on Orwell, the danger lies not in the fading of the concept of objective truth, but in the clinging to the concept of objective truth. Menand thinks that truth is merely a warrant for terrorism, that objectivity is just an early form of fanaticism, that certainty only kills.


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