Saturday, October 28, 2006

Literalist George Allen Thinks Novels are Real

We didn't need further proof that George Felix Allen is an idiot. But we've gotten it anyway, up from and center. It seems George Felix Allen, Jr. thinks novels are real. Talk about jug-headed literalism. But furthermore, this member of the bookburning party, wants to blast books from a highly aclaimed author. It's not that he's read the novels, mind you. But he wants you to critique them out-of-context. (Is there any other way for the GOP)?

First, the Allen team trotted out a few passages from the 2 million word context of Webb's body of work, which has received high critical acclaimed. Webb has not only received stellar reviews for his work (see below), but also an Emmy for reporting and a movie made from one of his novels (Terms of Engagement, staring Samuel Jackson and Tommy Lee Jones).

Here is a sampling of review comments about two of Webb's novels:

Review Comments on Fields of Fire
“In my opinion, the finest of the Vietnam novels.”
— Tom Wolfe

“Few writers since Stephen Crane have portrayed men at war with such a ring of steely truth.”
— The Houston Post

“A novel of such fullness and impact, one is tempted to compare it to Norman Mailer’s The Naked and the Dead.”
-- The Oregonian

"In swift, flexible prose that does everything he asks of it, Webb gives us an extraordinary range of acutely observed people.... Fields of Fire is a stunner."

"Few writers since Stephen Crane have portrayed men at war with such a ring of steely truth."
The Houston Post

About Lost Soldiers:
From Publishers Weekly
"Webb's cultural and political portrayal of Vietnam 25 years after the war's end is delivered with such bold strokes and magical detail that it really doesn't matter that the plot itself is relegated to the backseat. This is a highly personal and empathetic look at today's Vietnam, a land of misery and inequity, yet one still vibrantly alive. "

"James Webb's new novel paints a portrait of a modern Vietnam charged with hopes for the future but haunted by the ghosts of its war-torn past. It captures well the lingering scars of the war, and exposes the tension between the dynamism of a new generation and the invisible bondage of an older generation for whom wartime allegiances, and animosities, are rendered no less vivid by the passage of time. A novel of revenge and redemption that tells us much about both where Vietnam is headed and where it has been.
--Senator John McCain

A masterpiece, one of the most poignant and powerful novels of this generation ... Lost Soldiers is one of those rare books that is not only a beautifully realized literary triumph but also a crackling good page-turner. Its seamless blend of mystery and intrigue, with its subtle truths of history and culture and its stories of love and honor played out by unforgettable characters, is nothing short of miraculous. Jim Webb did not set out to write a healing book, but that is what he has done. I suspect Lost Soldiers can bring my country together after years of debate and division ? and it took a warrior to write it. You will come away a different person after you've read it."
-- Walter Anderson, Chairman and Publisher, Parade Magazine

In Harrisonburg yesterday, showed Allen snidely saying: James Webb "says he's a writer...," as if Webb isn't really. But worse, Allen and his twisted book burners, seems to think that a writer is necessarily just like the fictitious characters he portrays and that all scenes are ones condoned as OK by the author. Webb does write context according to things he observed during the Viet Nam war and afterward. While historical events and occurrences create the context for Webb's stories, they are fiction.

Additionally, Allen suggests anything earthy is smut. By extension, perhaps Allen is suggesting that the steamy passages of the Bible render it literally smut? Hint: They are NOT!) These Allen folks have no problem selectively using whatever they want as bogus fictitious evidence for whatever they want.

As the passages above indicate, even john McCain extoled the virtues of Lost Soldiers. The book in question, Lost Soldiers, contains a passage about an obscure practice in rural Cambodia. James Webb wrote about it as a part of the context of that period and place. But context doesn't matter with Allen and the GOP. With them its distortion, convolution, and deception. John Grisham has lambasted the Allen attack.

In remarks before the media yesterday, George Allen said that Webb "says he's a writer," as if that's not true. He's won journalism awards, and an Emmmy for one of his documentaries. He's had a screenplay made intoa movie entitled Terms of Engagement with Samuel Jackson and a host of outstanding actors.

But should Allen wish to pursue this, there's a plethora of racy passages in prominent GOP writers, including Lynn Cheney, Newt Gingrich, Scooter Libbey and others. Read about it here:

Finally, you know Allen is out gas and apopleptic over new polls showing Webb ahead. Poor George.

Resources for this story can be found at WebbforSenate (here), The Washington Post (here), Waldo Jaquith (here), RaisingKaine (here), and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (here).;jsessionid=3404B39F4FF6EDAC6604DEAD453FA545?diaryId=5469