Saturday, October 18, 2008

What Would William Say?

My nominee for Impudent Literary Personality of the Week: Christopher Buckley, novelist, humorist, and son of the late William F. Buckley. First, Buckley posted an article on Tina Brown's blogsite The Daily Beast , in which he endorsed Barack Obama, a position that didn't go over too well at The National Review, the journal that William founded and for which Christopher is a columnist. Make that was a columnist -- after Buckley's article appeared he either resigned or was fired, depending on whose version you believe.

Then, in the October 19 New York Times Book Review, Buckley has a double review of two memoirs by prominent writers returning to the fold of the Catholic Church: Called Out of Darkness, by Anne Rice (best known for her vampire novels and, more recently, books about the early life of Jesus); and Crossbearer, by Joe Eszterhas (best known as the screenwriter for such funky Hollywood offerings as Basic Instinct and Showgirls). Suffice it to say the famously Catholic William F.'s son is unconvinced by either narrative and has a lot of fun saying so. He even counts himself among the unbelievers, "in whose camp I squat, nervously clutching Christopher Hitchens' pant leg."

Somewhere, in a conservative, Catholic heaven, William F. Buckley is shaking his head, and turning up his recording of the Brandenburg Concertos a little louder. What can you do?

By the way Anne Rice's book -- and the latest by Christopher Buckley -- are available at Accent on Books. And we'd be happy to special order the Joe Eszterhas title.

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