For the Nazis just like the Communists, art was a tool to promote an ideological agenda. Gunter Grass is a famous German author and playwright. His confession in 2006 of being in the Waffen SS was quite a surprise. Heinrich Himmler was a notorious German Nazi official, the head of the police forces, director of propaganda and had his own personal army, the Waffen SS. Turned out that Gunter was a Panzer Tank Division charge loader for them in the Second World War. He was also the author of The Tin Drum which in 1999 won The Noble Prize for literature. It was convenient of Gunter Grass to leave that part out of his autobiography while he was becoming famous. People wear masks, everyone realizes that, but if you’ve shot a duck out of season, that’s one thing. However, if you’ve killed innocent humans, or helped kill them, (or supported a regime who did the killing), that’s another. Being a Nazi before the war, and being a leftist writer after the war, that’s consistent moral opportunism operating through your whole adult life. Anyone except the most forgiving Catholic can see that.
Salman Rushdie is a famous Indian born British author who has been brave in the face of adversity, especially against the fatwa of the fascist Khomeini Regime in the 90s. However when it comes to ideology, he’s an excellent propagandist. The Jaguar Smile was his first full-length non-fiction foray into politics. He claims to have interviewed Chamorro and Contra leaders in it. On every page you see how he portrays his friends being brought down by the greedy Americans and how the rich friends of the murderous Contras are totally abject. He claims that the citizens of the USA think they’re the only Americans on the planet, reminding us all that it’s an insult to Central and South Americans. After all we’re all Americans. We are all equal in the eyes of God. Only the leftists to the south are more equal than the rich parasites to the north. Having said that, we’re all worthy of free services provided by a utopian communist state like Cuba. He didn’t miss making nice to every FSLN (Sandinista National Liberation Front), official he could find. He disparaged every contra sympathizer whose name he could spell.
Milan Kundera is a Czech and French author who became famous for The Unbearable Lightness of Being and other works. On October 13th, 2008, the Czech weekly, Respekt, prominently publicized an investigation carried out by the Czech Institute for Studies of Totalitarian Regimes. It claimed that Milan Kundera denounced to the police a young Czech pilot, Miroslav Dvořáček. A police station report from 1950 gave “Milan Kundera, student, born 1/4/1929 as the informant.” The target of the subsequent arrest, Miroslav Dvořáček, had fled Czechoslovakia after being ordered to join the infantry in the wake of a purge of the flight academy. He later returned to Czechoslovakia as a Western spy. German newspaper Die Welt has compared Milan Kundera to Günter Grass, the Nobel Prize winner, who in 2006 was revealed to have served in the Waffen-SS in the Second World War. Milan Kundera has always carefully covered his tracks. He has given no interviews for the past quarter of a century. He visits his native country on the quiet.
García Márquez is a Columbian writer with as much fame as Stephen King. He once pledged in the 80s not to publish again until the Chilean Dictator Augusto Pinochet was deposed. His writer’s strike was provoked being that the Southern Hemisphere hung off his every word; his head was filled with magic realism; but he ultimately published Chronicle of a Death Foretold while Pinochet was still in power. He just couldn’t “remain silent in the face of injustice and repression.” Garcia Marquez has a permanent home in one pretty politically repressive state, Cuba. Just read Reinaldo Arenas’ Before Night Falls, to see how repressive. Márquez has become a cultural ambassador for the regime there, hosting the visits of foreign writers and even occasionally helping to release celebrity literary prisoners. In fact, he was once called a literary hatchet man for Fidel Castro, one of his best friends. Interestingly enough, he has been as anti-American as any 60s Bolshevik, this then, the height of the absurdity coming from an old leftist South American who is still alive today and has lived an unharmed life in the West. After all, the great purges of the Eastern Empire of the Left got even the poor harmless Issac Babel, a writer with a far greater sense of justice than García Márquez ever dreamed in his magic realism, (although One Hundred Years of Solitude is pretty good, but not as good as The Dark Tower.)
© 2022 - E. A. St. Amant