[T]o be truly great, truly lasting, a novel or any other exercise in storytelling has to transcend cliches and oversimplifications, has to capture something of the deep complexity of human affairs. So at a certain level of seriousness or genius, the problem-or-is-it of conservative underrepresentation in the contemporary arts melts away, because you’re dealing with a range of creators whose talents effectively transcend partisanship and ideological fixations …. It’s that mass-market territory that more often vindicates Jonathan Chait’s powerful argument about the essential liberalism of the culture industry; it’s there that you’ll find the big-business bad guys and multicultural preachiness and paranoid stylings and caricatures of religious conservatives and Ted Mosby-ian sexual assumptions and enviro-propaganda that the right tends, understandably, to react against with anti-Hollywood fury or resigned frustration.
But this suggests a rather strange-sounding riposte to Kirsch’s question, posed after his elevation of writers like Foster Wallace into a kind of conservative literary pantheon. “With all these books to read and admire,” he asks, “why does Adam Bellow continue to believe that conservative writers are a persecuted minority?” Well, one might say, because there aren’t enough mediocre conservative writers and artists at work!
Micah Mattix adds thoughtfully: