Flat White

The right write stuff: a conservative literature primer

28 October 2016

1:08 PM

28 October 2016

1:08 PM

2012 Trophee Des Arts GalaAdelaide Sunday Mail columnist Peter Goers has written a hit-piece on his fellow News Corp scribbler, the precocious Caleb Bond, which he should frame and hang on his wall. Apparently, when Caleb last appeared on his radio show, Goers asked him to name ten conservative authors and artists. He got him started by offering Ayn Rand. Caleb faltered, but Rand being a radical libertarian Goers got him off to a false start. Indeed, one must wonder if Goers knows the subject at all.

A huge number of great creative-types have been conservatives of one variety or another. The array is positively overwhelming. No wonder old mate Caleb didn’t know where to begin.


So I’ll give Caleb a proper hand up. Here’s a list of thirty-odd conservative authors off the top of my head. Right-wingers everywhere should print out and keep in their back pockets, lest they find themselves in the presence of an Arts student who claims conservatism stifle creativity.

But first, a few disclaimers. Skip this paragraph if you like. (1) Because literature is my forte I won’t branch into the other media, though the conservatism of modernist icons like Igor Stravinsky and Salvador Dali should give progressives pause. (2) I won’t include political thinkers like Russell Kirk and William F. Buckley who, though novelists in their own right, are principally known as conservative thinkers. (2) Nor will I include minor writers, or those relatively unknown in the English-speaking world. This is all red meat. (3) I’ll also omit popular novelists like Brad Thor, Orson Scott Card, and Clive Cussler, whose conservative politics are well-known. (4) This isn’t nearly exhaustive, and I’m already kicking myself for not including the authors I know I’ve forgotten. (5) The list is in approximately in chronological order, but I can’t be bothered to check the dates.

Anyway, here we go:

Samuel Johnson, Tory

William Wordsworth, Tory;

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Tory;

John Southy, Tory;

Robert Burns, Jacobite;

Alexander Pushkin, monarchist;

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, conservative monarchist;

Lord Tennyson, monarchist;

Mikhail Bulgakov, monarchist;

J.R.R. Tolkien, ‘anarcho-monarchist’;

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, orthodox Tsarist;

T.S. Eliot, ‘royalist in politics’;

W.B. Yeats, aristocratist;

Ernst Junger, monarchist;

Rudyard Kipling, imperialist;

Robert Frost, Republican;

Roy Campbell, Francoist;

Evelyn Waugh, traditionalist;

John Betjemen, traditionalist;

Anthony Powell, conservative;

Jorge Luis Borges, classical liberal;

Vladimir Nabokov, classical liberal; 

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, conservative and anti-communist;

Kingsley Amis, conservative and anti-communist;

Philip Larkin; conservative

Saul Bellow, conservative;

Anthony Burgess, ‘Catholic Jacobite imperial monarchist’;

Jack Kerouac, Republican;

Tom Wolfe, neoconservative;

V.S. Naipaul, conservative;

Robert Conquest, conservative anti-communist

Michel Houellebecq, conservative;

Clive James, conservative;

Dana Gioia, Republican.

Your move, Jim.


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