Is it possible to write a truly good novel in praise of anti-semitism or indeed any form of oppression/fascism?
Does one exist?
I'm writing in relation to 'What is Literature' by Satre, he says you could have a good one based on hate of the white people, because the hatred comes from a love of freedom by black people.
Now with that logic I could see some pretty good books coming from Palestine.
My last novel was an experiment based around this question - I mean, not about anti-semitism particularly, but about writing about a group of characters who are united by their rejection of modern liberal capitalism and their embracing of violence and terrorism, from revolutionary communism to the Nazis to Pol Pot and ISIS. My summary for idiots is "Fight Club but it doesn't pussy out". I don't know if it's "truly good", but it was a fascinating thing to write.
It's possible to write a truly good novel about bowel movements
maybe Joyce has one, it's not necessarily subject matter that dictates quality but really how it's handled; I mean for instance, the above example is just a joke, but you could turn it into a five act faux-Shakespearian play about the dehumanising elements of capitalism as a mechanical necessity, and still have your lead character be a literal piece of shit. It would be hard, and stupid, but if you had to the talent, it could exist.
Now for something a bit more controversial, like anti-semitism, you have to really consider how you're defining good. Is good at an individual level? Then anything can be "good" literature. Is good measured at a social level? Then really, "good" literature is limited to what acceptable by cultural norms and mass appreciation. Is it a combination of both? Then, by the power of the subjective, almost anything could, in theory, transcend social norms or accepted modes of thought (and really we hate fascism on the basis of liberalism, which might be based in logic, but is still based on emotive values too) and become "good literature".
It wasn't so much the subject matter, but the nature of the subject matter. Satre discusses that literature requires freedom both of the reader and the writer. That those writers who supported fascism suffered as writers due to the lack of readers freedom.
In the example of anti semitism, he argued, iirc, that as the writer calls for oppression of others it violates this law.
In his notes he even says this particular argument may incense some readers, but puts it to them that they can only imagine a theoretical work that could do this, and with him having the benefit of evidence and history he would surely be correct.
>Then, by the power of the subjective, almost anything could, in theory, transcend social norms or accepted modes of thought (and really we hate fascism on the basis of liberalism, which might be based in logic, but is still based on emotive values too) and become "good literature".
I had a Psci teacher who thought Musollini was a more educated and better writer on the subject of fascism. I don't know if his work is anti-Semitic. I think the problem in general is that this belief comes packaged with a lack of ability to think.
>Is it possible to write a truly good novel in praise of anti-semitism or indeed any form of oppression/fascism?
Yes, but someone who wants to write one – nowadays, anyways – probably could not do it.
>Does one exist?
Maybe? It sort of depends on whether you count works written before the terms were defined as they were now. I am sure you could fine a good novel with anti-semitic themes if you go back a couple of hundred years, though I know not of any myself.