Carl Oglesby

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The conscience exists, standing before us now asking not to be created or perfected but to be chosen and defended, in need of champions, not exiles. Any fiction which refuses that request is henceforth a collaborationist fiction.

Carl Oglesby (July 30, 1935 – September 13, 2011) was an American writer, academic, and political activist. He was the President of the leftist student organization Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) from 1965 to 1966.

Quotes[edit]

"The Deserters: The Contemporary Defeat of Fiction" (1972)[edit]

in Radical Perspectives in the Arts (1972), pp. 33-52
  • When the house is burning down around the poet's head, on grounds of what if any dispensation can the poet continue the poem?
  • In the end, very like Camus, [Joseph] Heller has tried to buy time for himself and his culture, snarled with lunacy and injustice as it is, by wrapping up everything in a tissue of cynicism and privileged impotence. History being insufferable but unchangeable, he says the good man is therefore morally reprieved from the awful sentence of having to change it. In the company of Camus' solitary rebel, he need only desert.
  • What Heller finally offers us super-sensitive Westerners is a contemporary world in which we may ignore what threatens us, ... a world in which the summons to partisanship has been muffled if not ridiculed by a nihilism which has recently discovered gaiety, a despair which has learned to frolic in the ruins of a certain hope.
  • The conscience exists, standing before us now asking not to be created or perfected but to be chosen and defended, in need of champions, not exiles. Any fiction which refuses that request is henceforth a collaborationist fiction.
  • Culture, ... that standard shield of class, is allowed to surface only in order to become more evidence of ... vanity.

External links[edit]

Wikipedia
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