Kimberly Dark, August 9, 2020
What can be gained from reading art for its politics? We stand now in a political moment in the U.S. as in other parts of the world, where fascism is rising along with political attempts to frame certain people as “other” and therefore worthy of mistreatment, disdain and death.
Simultaneously, history and intellectuality are being derided as defective somehow—even in an era when we have more information about history, writing and art at our fingertips via the internet, along with all manner of nonsense produced there as well.
This precarious political moment makes art all the more important. Much can be gained from cultural shifts—changing hearts and minds, even when political access is diminishing for some (via voter suppression, most immediately, in the United States). Few would question the important cultural shifts emboldened by the work of writers like Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, Margaret Atwood and Oscar Wilde.