Monday, November 3, 2008

Black reviews Atwood

I never doubted that Conrad Black would make good use of his time in jail. It’s hard to imagine the author of biographies of Roosevelt, Nixon and Duplessis whiling away the hours wallowing in self pity or otherwise wasting his time. Aside from being highly intelligent, educated, industrious and intellectually energetic the guy is well connected with the publishing field. All he needs is a library, a pencil and paper (even the roll in his cell would do) and he’s in business as a serious writer.

The latest example of his time well spent is his review of Margaret Atwood’s recent CBC Massey Lectures Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth. As is fashionable in leftist circles Atwood attempts to justify an anti-capitalist line of thinking that links the world’s moral and material woes to financial culprits. Conrad admires Atwood’s talent:
Payback is well written, even by Margaret Atwood’s very high standards, and is an etymological tour de force, ... a stimulating, learned and stylish read from an eminent author writing from a heartfelt perspective.
But he isn’t buying her "heartfelt" thesis. Atwood’s references to Faustian pacts with the Devil, Ebenezer Scrooge, The Merchant of Venice, Henry VIII and many others are skillfully rebutted with Black concluding:
I don’t really see a straight line from the Egyptian Crocodile God to the Cockroach Spirit, and the economic-terrorists have oversold the green scare.
Excellent stuff [via the Post]. Now wait for the letters of praise along with more futile calls for the Post to keep ‘the criminal Black’ out of its pages.

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