A literary lion roars against wokesterism

There's something particularly powerful about literary lion Salman Rushdie coming out in public to blast at the censorship and altered texts of writer Roald Dahl's literary children's classics in the name of wokester correctness in order to salve sensitive snowflake ears.

According to the Washington Examiner:

Renowned author Salman Rushdie, whose novel The Satanic Verses led Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to issue a fatwa in 1989 calling on all Muslims to kill him, denounced the changes to Dahl's works.

"Roald Dahl was no angel but this is absurd censorship," Rushdie tweeted Saturday. "Puffin Books and the Dahl estate should be ashamed."

Actor Brian Cox, who currently stars in HBO's Succession and has worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company, decried the revisions by likening them to McCarthyism.

"I really do believe [these books are] of their time and they should be left alone," he told the Times of London in a radio interview. "Roald Dahl was a great satirist, apart from anything else. It's disgraceful."

"It's this kind of form of McCarthyism, this woke culture, which is absolutely wanting to reinterpret everything and redesign and say, 'Oh, that didn't exist.'" he continued. "Well. it did exist. We have to acknowledge our history."

No, it's not that Rushdie seems gutsier in that his most famous novel is called "The Satanic Verses," while Dahl wrote lively and adventurous children's books in the first half of the 20th century.

It's that Rushdie not too long ago was gravely injured in a bona fide terrorist attack by a crazed Muslim fanatic wielding a knife as he spoke at a literary conference in upstate New York. The attack was the result of a fatwa placed on his head for his own literary work by Iran's evil ayatollahs. Rushdie was extensively hospitalized after the vicious attack, losing an eye and the use of one of his hands. He didn't lose his courage.

That he can come out and denounce wokester censorship now, that pervasive, insidious, virtue-signalling garbage that has seen the altering and censorship of an established literary figure's work is effectively pointing out that censorship is censorship. There's little daylight between attacking an author for his work with a knife in a terror attack, and attacking an author for his work through the bowdlerization (as writer Robert Graboyes put it) of his work through political correctness. Both are censorship, both are destructive, and both are a threat to the permanence of literature.

They are the same thing.

Rushdie's words have power because he ranks very high in the world of literature. He's seen as a permanent figure, an immortal, he's won the fancy awards, his work features on lists of great literature, it's is studied in schools, and he is the kind of writer other writers look up to. 

He's nominally, at least, the literary establishment. Yet he's acting like an outsider, an upstart, an iconoclast, standing up to the smothering influence of wokester censorship and holding out his own persona, wounded and martyred for the sake of free speech and literature itself, as the challenger to that conventional wisdom. He's standing in front of the moving train, as William F. Buckley once put it, and shouting 'stop.'

Rushdie's literary status permits him to do that without being laughed at or dismissed as a Trumpster, forcing the publishing establishment that came up with this bright idea to recognize its stupidity. They can't argue with him because he's a literary lion.

He's not the first. J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, is another giant of literature simply owing to the size of her book sales and probably more. Her willingness to take on transgender madness has triggered an unusually furious reaction from the offended, with boycotts and personal attacks and other nasty stuff. She hasn't budged from opposing this wokesterliness, though and has the resources and gumption to sue her smearers. Her reputation in world literature is not going away.

Another literary lion who speaks out against wokester censorship is Mario Vargas Llosa, the Peruvian literary lion. His capital-L Liberal views, (libertarian to us) against censorship, wokesterliness, leftism as well as dictators of all stripes, has done nothing to harm his reputation, because he, too, is too big in the literary world for it to be otherwise, though, like Rushdie and Rowling, he undoubtedly takes a lot of incoming fire from wokester quarters. He hasn't budged.

None of these literary lions speaking out have been discredited nor intimidated and that's because they are simply too prestigious for the establishment to reject.

It's an interesting phenomenon of seeing literary lions speaking out. Surely Rushdie's makes the strongest impression, given what he's been through. It may be strong enough to force the wokesters censoring and bowdlerizing Dahl to back the hell off and leave a writer's words the way he wrote them.

Image: Twitter screen shot 

If you experience technical problems, please write to helpdesk@americanthinker.com