Re: Best Conservative Fiction

by Steven F. Hayward

Now you’ve done it, Jonah–you’ve set off what promises to be a week-long derby of favorite conservative fiction from Cornerites. The usual suspects–Jane Austen, etc.–are as certain to show up as the cherry blossoms on the mall. Oh well, why not.

Lately I’ve been rereading Jean Raspail’s controversial 1973 novel < I>Camp of the Saints, which is a before-its-time yarn about immigration and multiculturalism (in France, no less). The book was savagely attacked by the Left as a racist tract, which should be recommendation enough. (NR’s Jeff Hart gave it a glowing review in NR when it came out.) Old paperback editions are easy to come by on all the usual online book-search services, and it is very timely in the age of Islamofascism.

I’m rather partial (as is WFB) to Walker Percy’s novels. His last, The Thanatos Syndrome, is very topical in this age of cloning and genetic research, but so is its terrific prequel, Love in the Ruins. And isn’t it about time for a revival of John Kennedy O’Toole’s Confederacy of Dunces? Didn’t Rod Dreher mention some time ago that someone was talking of making a film of Dunces? It would be a sort of Anti-Passion, I suppose.

And just last week I was rereading Evelyn Waugh’s first novel, Decline and Fall. Who can resist a book where we are introduced, in the second sentence, to a character with the name “Sir Alastair Digby-Vane Trumpington”? And in that vein, let us genuflect before P.G. Wodehouse, perhaps the best of conservative comic novelists. Now Jonah, for God’s sake, don’t ask about films, or we’re really in for it.