Social Scientist. v 1, no. 3 (Oct 1972) p. 45.


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OM PRAKASH GREWAL

Literature and the Poverty of Conservative Liberal Ideology

LITERARY criticism in English is dominated today by a liberal ideology which, on proper analysis, will show itself to be very narrow and unacceptable. One of the indefensible biases of this ideology operates through the false antithesis generally set up between literature and politics. It is argued that politics and literature are opposed to each other because while the former deals only with the immediate and the practical, the latter is concerned with the abiding elements of human experience.

A man guided by the logic of political action, it is believed, will have to reject as meaningless or irrelevant much that would be most valuable in the eyes of a literary writer. All the important aspects of the human reality which are not likely to affect materially the immediate outcome of the stand taken by the man of politics, will be automatically ignored by him. A man engaged in politics has to seek at every stage rough and ready answers to the problems as they emerge from time to time and to act promptly on the basis of a few simple and workable maxims. If "he gets absorbed 4n^^er^i^W^tIOHs'%i^^^blt6tfes ^ hms^ tendency, like Hamlet, to think too precisely on the event, he will become a victim of indecisiveness, show vacillation



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