Saturday, February 17, 2007

"Glorifying Terrorism"

Prompted by the publication in Britain of a sci-fi anthology entitled Glorifying Terrorism, Ned Beauman wrote a brief piece for the Guardian books blog. He writes:
Although this is a splendid way to make a point about free speech, we should remember that this isn't new ground - on the contrary, science fiction has been busily glorifying terrorism for at least the last 12 months.
Beauman makes a couple of supporting assertions that I might have stated a little differently.

For one, I think it misses the point to write that V For Vendetta (the film) glorifies terrorism. There's a lot more than that going on in that story.

Beauman also writes:
And while mainstream authors such as Updike and Amis and Rushdie have tried to take us into the mind of terrorists, they stopped short of what would have been far more disturbing and effective: making their plotters into likeable heroes and seducing us into a unwary emotional involvement with their struggle.
I reviewed the Updike book and, while I don't think his plotter is a "likeable hero," he is written with considerable depth and sympathy.

Read Beauman's argument.

--Marshal Zeringue