The Corner

Conservative Fiction Emails

Here are a bunch of the shorter emails on conservative fiction. In no particular order. I don’t necessarily agree with all of them either.

Patrick O’Brian, V.S. Naipaul, Willa Cather, Tom Wolfe, W.F.B.

Karen Clancy

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Jonah,

Anything by Robert A. Heinlein would be good within the Science Fiction category. The book “Starship Troopers” is conservative, no matter how badly Paul Verhoeven mangled the movie.

Knowles’ A Separate Peace is an awesome piece of young men’s conservative fiction and even has an ancient NR praise on its paperback cover

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Dear Mr. Goldberg,

Surely someone will point out your own Mr. Buckley’s fine Blackford Oakes novels, The Story of Henry Tod being the best.

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Jonah,

IMHO, the best “conservative” short fiction was written by Flannery O’Connor, especially from the perspective of the traditionalist’s response to the modern world and mind. Fortunately and unfortunately, all of her work is contained in one volume “The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor”, and I suggest “The Enduring Chill” as the place to start for a good conservative yarn. As you may know, her stories are decidedly but not overtly Catholic, but in an Old Testament sort of way.

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Jonah,

I am particularly fond of Catherine Marshall’s epic novels Christy and Julie. This is especially in the light of her non-fiction works and things that she believed about modern social and religious issues. (definitely right leaning)

Christy and Julie both have as their central characters young women who have high ideals, but when a bucket of cold reality is thrown on those ideals, they learn that ideals aren’t enough – you have to stand on solid (God’s in her books) principles even when it makes you unpoopular, learn that handouts aren’t enough to help people, and to make decisions based in truth, tempered with compassion, not emotionalism.

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Anything by H. Beam Piper, early Heinlein, Inferno by Lary Niven, Oath

of Fealty by Niven & Pournelle, Clifford Simak

Saul Bellow, Mr. Sammler’s Planet.

A survivor of HItler’s war kvetches about intellectuals, the sexual revolution, moral relativism, radical riffraff, urban crime, and other social pathologies of America in the sixties.

Add Kipling and Twain to the list.

Patrick O’Brian (Master and Commander, etc.) O’Brian has many similarities to Jane Austen, another great conservative writer. SF author Jack Vance is a superb conservative/libertarian writer. Just as you don’t have to like sea stories to like O’Brian’s writing, you don’t have to like other SF to appreciate Vance.

Chesterton – Manalive; The Ball and the Cross

Waugh – Brideshead Revisited

Not a classic – yet: H.W. Crocker – The Old Limey

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Jonah,

Not an Ayn Rand fan? Her novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged are very significant works regarding individual freedom, though I admit I would disagree with her on the whole athesim bit. Also, YAF has a good list of reading on their website, mostly nonfiction but some novels.

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Jonah,

Not that it has much to do with modern politics (or modern anything for that matter), Gates of Fire by Stephen Pressfield is a phenomenal book. In case you’re not familiar, it’s a novel about the battle of Thermopylae, Spartans v. Persians, West v. East, courage, sacrifice, etc. It became standard reading among all my friends as soon as one of us had read it.

Recommended

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