Mark Helprin Is Right Wing—And Maybe a Twerp


Check out a great interview with reclusive rock-star novelist, journalist, and onetime Dole speechwriter Mark Helprin, in which he calls Ayn Rand "the world's biggest midget," declares "I am right wing, and maybe I'm a twerp–I don't know," and talks about rappelling down the side of the New Yorker office building. It's a long sitdown with Doublethink's fiction editor Kelly Torrance.

A summing up of Helprin's charmingly retrograde attitudes, in his own words, for those who haven't had the pleasure of his novels Winter's Tale, Memoir from Antproof Case, or Freddy and Fredericka or read his articles in the Wall Street Journal:

I don't think of women as a political tribe. I am unconcerned with sexual dysfunction, because up until now, thank God, I haven't had any. I am religious by nature, I'm not a nihilist. I don't follow, I don't even know what the tenets of things like deconstructionism are, and all those schools that come up and their way of looking at things that people strive to incorporate into what they write. I don't even know what they are. Because I sense from a distance that I don't want to know. And therefore even if I had no politics, actual politics, my cultural point of view is hopelessly out of date with the modern literary sensibility. Which is nihilistic, and ironic, detached, cool, and cowardly.

Also, this:

Doublethink: Are there any contemporary writers whom you read, that you admire?
Mark Helprin: No.

What's not to love? Read the whole thing.