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Wednesday’s New York Times was crammed with condescension and hostility toward racist Brexit voters. Rachel Donadio had previously “credited” “a campaign of open xenophobia” for the victory of the Leave choice. On Wednesday she peppered some left-wing British in writing and theatre fields with loaded questions, and they delivered the artists’ predictable low opinions of their fellow citizen-xenophobes who’d had the bad taste to vote for national sovereignty. And two other reporters toured two struggling towns that had voted Leave, and predictably found racism, xenophobia, and economic ignorance.
The front of the Arts page featured Donadio’s “‘Britain Is No Home To Me’: 5 Artists Respond to ‘Brexit.’”
Britain - Vote - European - Union - Soul-searching
Britain’s vote to leave the European Union has led to intense soul-searching in that country’s cultural establishment. The New York Times asked five writers and theater professionals for their thoughts.
Marianne Elliott, a theater director, was paranoid.
Art - Somehow - Heart - Stories - Moments
I feel that art, somehow, has to be at the heart of what’s happening now. We need to relay stories. Ever more needed in moments when there is an atmosphere of extreme right politics gaining ground and people are looking for scapegoats.
Novelist Elif Shafak was condescending:
Xenophobia - Dormant - Crisis - Momentum - Kind
Xenophobia did not happen overnight. It was there all along, dormant. Whenever there is a crisis, perceived or real, and whenever there is a historical momentum that unleashes it, even kind neighbors can turn into xenophobes. If I were writing a novel I would have liked to have a protagonist that goes through a similar radical transformation. How does it happen? How do kind, well-meaning people turn into xenophobes?
The irascible Philip Pullman, author of the anti-religious fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials, was acidic:
Form - Home - Novel - Novel - Family
Well, the form I am most at home in is the novel. I can imagine a novel that looks at a single family whose members disagree about Brexit, and at their friends and...
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