Re: Which writers inform your work?
Question: Which writers inform your work?
Keith Gessen: I’ve mentioned Bellow, Roth- DeLillo is somebody whose confrontation with popular culture, I think, has been very important. Houellebecq- Michel Houellebecq, the French writer, is someone who has taken the world that was created by the ‘60s, the world of sexual liberation, of multiple sexual partners, of free sexual competition, and read this as a historical phenomenon, has treated this as something that is new and that is important, and that needs to be theorized and historicized, which is not something that we typically do in American literature, but we ought to be doing. And my book is not Houellebecqian, but it tries to do some of this. It tries to take dating seriously, as a historical phenomenon, which I think it is.
Michel Houellebecq, among others.
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Is it "perverseness," the "death drive," or something else?
A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.
- Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
- The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
- According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
- It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
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