The Morality of the Fat Owl

In the March issue of New Criterion, our skeptical doctor examines the literary output of Charles Hamilton, with particular focus on his most famous character, Billy Bunter.

Orwell’s argument is a deeply philistine one. It is our present unpleasant and conflictual identitarian politics ab ovo. It suggests that literature should not so much take us out of ourselves, or allow us to enter into something of which we have no direct experience, but should be about ourselves and our own lives. It should be relevant to what we already know, namely our own experience, in which it should thereby enfold and enclose us.

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