Thursday, August 25, 2005

E.L. Doctorow on George W. Bush

E.L. Doctorow, who is one of America's most distinguished writers, has written the most superb piece I have ever seen written about our President. It first appeared in the East Hampton Star back on Sept. 9 and is making the rounds on the Internet and via e-mail. It came to me via Deanna Jo, one of the unsung heroines of the Democratic Party over in Montcalm County. She's like Montcalm County's Linda Mason. This Doctorow piece called "The Unfeeling President" rings so incredibly true because, like any good writer, Doctorow delves into the soul of his character.

By way of some background for those who don't know Doctorow:
Edgar Lawrence Doctorow occupies a central position in the history of American literature. He is generally considered to be among the most talented, ambitious, and admired novelists of the second half of the twentieth century. Doctorow has received the National Book Award, two National Book Critics Circle Awards, the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Edith Wharton Citation for Fiction, the William Dean Howell Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the residentially conferred National Humanities Medal.

Doctorow was born in New York City on January 6, 1931. After graduating with honors from Kenyon College in 1952, he did graduate work at Columbia University and served in the U.S. Army. Doctorow was senior editor for New American Library from 1959 to 1964 and then served as editor in chief at Dial Press until 1969. Since then, he has devoted his time to writing and teaching. He holds the Glucksman Chair in American Letters at New York University and over the years has taught at several institutions, including Yale UniversityDrama School, PrincetonUniversity, Sarah Lawrence College, and the University of California, Irvine.


So here is where to go to find this marvelous essay that begins with these words:
I fault this president for not knowing what death is.
And ends in these words:
He cannot mourn but is a figure of such moral vacancy as to make us mourn for ourselves.

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