【1】But mostly I was disturbed by the politicization of literature in the West: the way that literature was read as social commentary rather than art, and the way that books were forced to serve political theories of one stripe or another. Very rarely did a critic seem to react to a text; rather the text was twisted so that it reacted neatly to whatever ideas the critic held sacred. There were Marxist critics, Feminist critics, and Post-Colonial critics; and almost invariably they wielded their theories like molds, forcing books inside and squeezing out a neatly-shaped product. Marxists turned out Marxism; Feminists turned out Feminism; Post-Colonialists turned out Post-Colonialism. It was like reading the same senseless book over and over again.
——Hessler, River Town
2】We find out what we had perhaps suspected—that the man who was wrecking the factory is not the ugly little old workman with a trick of mispronouncing Marxist definitions, bless his little well-meaning soul, but the slick, easygoing fellow well versed in Marxian lore; and his dark secret is that his stepmother's cousin was the nephew of a capitalist... Apart from this structural resemblance to the tritest kind of crime thriller, we must note here the "pseudo-religious" side. The little old workman who proves to be the better man is a kind of obscene parody of the poor-in-wits but strong in spirit and faith, inheriting the Kingdom of Heaven, while the brilliant pharisee goes to the other place.
——Vladimir Nabokov, Russian Writers, Censors, and Readers
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