Apropos the Odysseus question, a reader reports that his son’s 8th grade English teacher approved Catch 22 as the topic of a required book report on a “classic.” That leads him to ask a question:
Are there any modern (say post 1700) novels of high literary merit that can reasonably be characterized as pro-war? Or, at least as pro-war as the Iliad?
That depends, of course, on what constitutes “high literary merit.” If it means something that an MLA member wouldn’t be ashamed to be seen reading, the answer might well be “No.” But if it just means something that serious people think about seriously, then Starship Troopers certainly qualifies.
But on the question as posed, assuming that “high literary merit” gets defined by professors of literature, I don’t know the answer. I can’t think of such a novel, but that doesn’t prove much.
So I’m hereby using a lifeline: What’s the best “high art” pro-war novel?