Andrey (azangru) wrote,

Dan Simmons's Flashback is a mediocre sci-fi novel, with atrocious fragments of butchered Russian a la bad Hollywood movies, but what is interesting about it is that the author, through his characters, voices strong anti-left political views, which is rather rare for modern intellectuals. Some, like this fragment about the situation in the academia, sound surprisingly astute and prescient for the year 2011, when the book was published:

Leonard [an aging professor of English, thinking back from somewhere around 2030s] had noticed a turning point when the nation and world started heading for hell... or at least his part of it. He had been teaching in both the classics and English departments at the University of Colorado in Boulder in the 1990s when the university — under a sort of blackmail from the instructor in question — appointed a fake scholar, fake Native American, fake professor (but true hater) named Ward Churchill to be head of their newly created Ethnic Studies Department. It had been a surrender to absolute political correctness — a term already inextricably intertwined with the term “university” — and a surrender to a type of rabid mediocrity. When he had returned from the Yale conference after 9-11 to find that this Ward Churchill had written an essay comparing the victims in the World Trade Center and Pentagon to “little Eichmanns,” it hadn’t surprised Professor George Leonard Fox. His students — the few English majors and even fewer classics majors — seemed to move apologetically through the hallways at CU, clinging to the walls, while Churchill’s Ethnic Studies students — tattooed, multiply pierced, their fists commonly raised in anger — would stride like Gestapo.

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