What are your Favorite Politically Incorrect Books and Stories ?

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BAYLOR

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And what makes them so ? This covers all genres.


Thoughts?
 
Actually, I'm not sure there are many that aren't.

The only two stories I can think of that are clearly progressive without any significant social criticisms are Babylon 5 and Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Even authors I mostly enjoy, such as David Gemmell, Joe Abercrombie, and Lee Child, can all be accused of mishandling gender roles and issues to some small degree, though they aren't anywhere near as flawed as most mainstream depictions.
 
Well, there's Lovecraft, of course. He's been one of my favorite authors since I was 14.

Not "favorites" of mine, but certainly politically incorrect:

Jean Raspail's The Camp of the Saints is a work of undeniable power of imagination. It was published in the early 1970s in the US by Scribner, a publisher with a very good reputation, and with endorsements from respectable figures. It concerns the invasion of Europe by millions of immigrants from "Third World" countries. There's a description of one of the boats loaded with these folk copulating etc. The European countries are collapsing. The final image, as I recall, is of some white Frenchmen shooting at a swarm of the immigrants before they are overwhelmed. By most people's notions of racism, including mine, this is a racist book.

Alan Coren's The Collected Bulletins of Idi Amin, also from the early 1970s, reminds me of Twain. The author presents purported commentary releases from the Uganda dictator, written in a blustering "blackface" African-American mode for humorous effect. The first sentence, "Amin" referring to himself (as he usually is, in these "bulletins"): "Lotta people gonna be wonderin' about how de cornerstone o' Ugandan literature gettin' laid." From the back cover copy, supposedly from a Ugandan reviewer: "How we goin' to begin to describe wot goin' on inside de marvellous covers wid de superb photos o' de author, makin' it a must fo' de coffee-tables everywhere? As de maggernificent prose unfoldin', wid its smart sentences, many o' dese put into convenient paragraphs an' covered in top punctwation, we seein' not only a unbiased insight into de emergence o' de great Ugandan nation, we also privileged to watch de worl's foremost soul gittin' it all off o' his chest, settin' down de innermost thoughts in a vocabberlary wot runnin' into hunnerds, may wid up to two syllables." I take it the intention was to satirize the appalling Ugandan dictator as a pompous, pretentious fool. The "bulletins" were originally published in Punch, where I saw some in the series when I was a college undergraduate. It seemed funnier then. The pieces probably could not be published in a respectable magazine now.
 
Hmmm. Since I can reasonably be accused of being politically correct myself, as an extreme cultural liberal, it is somewhat difficult for me to step out of my bubble and look at things objectively enough to make this kind of judgment. With that in mind, let me do the best I can.

1985 by Anthony Burgess, published in 1978, is half an interesting essay on 1984 and half a novella set in a completely different kind of dystopia. The imagined future of the UK in 1985 is one where the oppressors are not those who follow the philosophy of Oligarchical Collectivism, but trade unions. Instead of Newspeak, we have Worker's English. The other disturbing force in the novella is Islam, which has made strong inroads into British society; so much so that hotels have names like the Al-Hilton. It's an intriguing work of literature, and I think it could count as being politically incorrect.

Another that comes to mind is "The Tale of a Tub" by Jonathan Swift. Unlike Gulliver's Travels, which is a work of universal satire against all human follies, the primary aim of "A Tale of a Tub" seems to be to attack the wickedness of the Catholic Church and the madness of Noncomformists, whilst defending the Church of England. Few in this day and age, I think, would go so far to make this strong distinction among these three branches of Christianity. It's an enjoyable read, with many digressions. Swift's "The Battle of the Books" might be an example as well, with its attack on modern writers when compared to the "sweetness and light" provided by ancient authors.
 
Almost anything by Tom Sharpe.
Come to think of it, Tom Sharpe, the Flashman novels are satire, so the un-PC is deliberate and very knowing, and only really offensive if one doesn't get the joke.

Far less PC are the Tarzan books, or anything by Capt WE Johns. The original Dr Doolittle novel is pretty much beyond the pale.
 
Some of the old detective mysteries are a touch non pc. I remember one Agatha Christie where there was a character in a guest house from Jamaica called Elizabeth, her fellow students called her Black Bess.
 
Some of the old detective mysteries are a touch non pc. I remember one Agatha Christie where there was a character in a guest house from Jamaica called Elizabeth, her fellow students called her Black Bess.


And the novel sometimes called And Then There Were None is also known by the offensive title Ten Little Indians and an even more offensive title which I dare not type in here.
 
Yes Ten little Indians was the toned down title. But then these books were written in a different era, try reading a Sexton Blake story now and the racism does get a little tiresome.
 
And the novel sometimes called And Then There Were None is also known by the offensive title Ten Little Indians and an even more offensive title which I dare not type in here.
Is the content of the book offensive, or just the name of the song to which the title refers? Are references to offensive material in culture offensive themselves? (Not that I'd want the original title sitting on my desk at work.)
 
That's a tricky question, of course. I am not one to prevent schoolchildren of a proper age from reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn because of the word in question, nor should it be censored from those reading it. In the case of the Christie, I think even back in the day somebody should have suggested that another title might be better.
 
That's a tricky question, of course. I am not one to prevent schoolchildren of a proper age from reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn because of the word in question, nor should it be censored from those reading it. In the case of the Christie, I think even back in the day somebody should have suggested that another title might be better.
I agree, completely.

I do think we do run a danger of white washing the past to the point where we lose perspective on the struggle waged for change. The Connie Willis book Remake where the protagonist edits tobacco out of classic films is a fun take on this, but it is a real danger.
 
Sax Rohmer's Fu Manchu Novels, very politically incorrect.
 
The History Man (1975), by Malcolm Bradbury - scathing portrayal of a hip, nineteen sixties counter-culture Marxist academic at an English university and his circle of radicals as early hopes decay during the Edward Heath years (set over the winter of 1972-3).

Jake's Thing (1978) and Stanley and the women (1984), by Sir Kingsley Amis, an arch-anti-feminist goes full bore against the unfair sex.

Five to twelve (1968), Who needs men? (1972), both by Edmund Cooper. Dire consequences for men of women taking over are examined.

Quite a lot of Phil Dick's work would probably qualify, even though he considered himself a leftist at heart.

Cerebus the aardvark (1977 onward) by Dave Sim. Gives Kingsley Amis a run for his money in the anti-feminist sweepstakes.

The Wanting Seed (1962), by Anthony Burgess, government encourages homosexuality in the general population as a measure against over-population, penalizes heterosexuals, encourages voluntary sterilization.
 
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The Wanting Seed (1962), by Anthony Burgess, government encourages homosexuality in the general population as a measure against over-population, penalizes heterosexuals, encourages voluntary sterilization.
What makes a dystopian novel like this not PC?
 
Promoting homosexuality even if it severely impinged upon heterosexual life is not a bad thing from a PC point-of-view. In this book, it is. A PC person will even deny the premise of Burgess' novel - that mass-promotion of homosexuality could have any adverse consequence whatsoever.
 
Promoting homosexuality even if it severely impinged upon heterosexual life is not a bad thing from a PC point-of-view. In this book, it is. A PC person will even deny the premise of Burgess' novel - that mass-promotion of homosexuality could have any adverse consequence whatsoever.
I have a hard time imagining anyone, most especially gay people, finding discrimination based on sexuality "not a bad thing". The PC POV is not for the protection of some people from discrimination, it is for the protection of everyone from discrimination, including majority groups.
 
PC is about protecting marginalised groups, not majorities. I've heard it chapter-and-verse out of the horse's mouth.
 
Not sure how much horses know about political correctness. It may be there are several different kinds. I'd describe myself as aspiring to political correctness, but the flavour I like is about respecting everyone, not just majorities but marginalised groups as well.

Anyway: I used to have a serious soft spot for British imperial military fiction, like Kipling and Buchan but in all sorts of not-quite-as-well-written flavours.

(sshhhhh)
 
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