Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ivy League Breaks Quota!

In fact, the Ivy league exceeded its quota in literature many decades ago—yet we the American public still get novels written by this nation’s most favored sons and daughters crammed down our throats, out of all proportion to any possible interest in them. One of the latest is Penelope by Rebecca Harrington, a Harvard grad writing about—surprise!—Harvard. The book has been well hyped. Harrington deserves, I guess, every advantage. (See the music student in my recent e-novel, The Tower.)

What we have in America, particularly in the approved literary world, is a caste system, with the Ivy League securely at the top of the pile.

For background, check out this jokey article from last year by George Will:

Even conservative icon Will is able to admit, “It has been well observed that America’s least diverse classes are SAT prep classes.”

Ivy League grads themselves, of course, are invariably liberals who argue for democracy and change—while every fact of their privileged lives argues against their statements.

1 comment:

King Wenclas said...

The curious thing about these people, even when they're writers and are supposed to be observant, is that they never seem to notice America's caste system all around them. They're like aristocrats who take it for granted. That the doormen, porters, and security at the hotels or apartment buildings they frequent, or the menial tasks at restaurants, or gardeners, or janitorial people are brown-skinned-- these are things they never observe. In "Freedom" Jonathan Franzen's character goes into tirades about lower class white people-- treated by him as a disagreeable Other-- but for this "leading American novelist" this is as far as he gets.
To find the actual America in fiction you'd best look elsewhere.