Monday, October 3, 2011

"He Writes Like A Pompous Ass"

When, some months ago, I heard David Mamet had converted to conservatism, I was intrigued, as I almost always am by serious conservatives, especially of the literary variety (see Saul Bellow). Artistic success does not automatically confer political insight, of course. But Mamet is an intelligent guy. I was curious what he had to say.

Now I haven't actually spent time with Mamet's pompously-titled The Secret Knowledge: On The Dismantling of American Culture, his screed against liberal dogma, but after reading the devastating takedown in The American Conservative, of all places, I'm not sure I want to.

"Turgid when it's not imperious, utterly lacking in fresh insight, full of breathtakingly stupid generalization, The Secret Knowledge is, for a writer of Mamet's caliber, nothing short of embarrassing," writes author and musician Scott Galupo. "The literary critic James Wood once described a certain kind of freshly adopted religious commitment this way: 'It is like entering prison: you must turn out your spiritual pockets and hand over all your inner belongings, even your shoelaces.' Well, Mamet has handed over his shoelaces, voluntarily stripped, and appears eager for a cavity search."

Ouch. And this from a fellow conservative.

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