Wednesday, January 24, 2007

More political fiction

I wrote a while ago about politicians and racy novels, including Scooter Libby's The Apprentice. Now, to mark the beginning of Libby's trial for obstruction of justice, Salon has a background/personality piece on Libby by his old boarding school roommate, Nick Bromell.

I bring this to your attention mostly for Bromell's alternative take on Libby's novel.
At bottom, there's a kind of innocence about Scooter. He has submitted to masters like Wolfowitz and Cheney because he respects them, just as a Zen novitiate submits to a meditation master or a young violinist reveres the prodigious talent of her teacher. This attitude was zealously nurtured by the prep schools we attended, where conformity to power was called "leadership" and submission to the system understood as "success." And it is Scooter's celebration of this attitude—not the sex scenes unfairly ridiculed by the New Yorker—that makes his novel The Apprentice so interesting today. The book tells the story of a young man just like Scooter, a man with the humility to bow before a master warrior and undertake a life of apprenticeship to figures mightier than himself.

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