Category Archives: Wilcox, Ella Wheeler

The fatuity and nastiness of Leon Trotsky

screen-shot-2017-01-30-at-11-47-13Dalrymple examines Trotsky’s Literature and Revolution (1924), and finds it

stuffed full of exceptionally nasty sentiments and half-baked adolescent ideas, with violence seeping out of every figure of speech.

He cites its peroration:

It is difficult to predict the extent of self-government which the man of the future may reach or the heights to which he may carry his technique. Social construction and psycho-physical self-education will become two aspects of one and the same process. All the arts — literature, drama, painting, music and architecture — will lend this process beautiful form. More correctly, the shell in which the cultural construction and self-education of Communist man will be enclosed, will develop all the vital elements of contemporary art to the highest point. Man will become immeasurably stronger, wiser and subtler; his body will become more harmonised, his movements more rhythmic, his voice more musical. The forms of life will become dynamically dramatic. The average human type will rise to the heights of an Aristotle, a Goethe, or a Marx. And above this ridge new peaks will rise.

screen-shot-2017-01-30-at-11-51-49This sort of thing, Dalrymple notes, is

deeply fatuous.

Compared with such tosh, he says,

Ella Wheeler Wilcox is Plato.

screen-shot-2017-01-30-at-11-55-27

Bob Dylan’s drivel

screen-shot-2016-10-22-at-23-42-55Dalrymple notes that the nasal whine of Bob Dylan, the popular singer, is

the sound of spoilt middle-class-adolescent self-pity.

His supposed poetry is

not merely bad, but authentically awful.

The lines he excretes are

sub–Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

Enduring some of Bob Dylan’s atrocious doggerel, Dalrymple is reminded of what Dr Johnson said when asked whether he thought that many men could have written the poems of Ossian. ‘Yes, sir,’ he said, ‘many men, many women, and many children.

Perhaps next year, says Dalrymple,

the Nobel prize in literature could be awarded to Hallmark Cards.