The British literary landscape is dominated by three writers: Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie and Ian McEwan. All three have considered the central dilemma of our time: terror. Indeed, Amis has issued something of a manifesto on the subject he terms “horrorism”. In their different styles, their approach and opinions define a coherent position. They are the vanguard of British literary neoconservatives, or, if you like, the “Blitcons”.

Blitcons come with a ready-made nostrum for the human condition. They use their celebrity status to advance a clear global political agenda. For all their concern with the plight of the post-9/11 century, they do not offer a radical new outlook on the world. Their writing stands within a tradition, upholding ideas with deep roots in European consciousness and literature. They are by no means the first to realise that fiction can have political clout; but they are the first to appreciate the true global power of contemporary fiction, its ability to persuade us to focus our attention in a specific direction. How conscious Blitcons are of their traditionalism may be in question. But it is a question that must be put to them. Where are you coming from? And where do you want to take us?

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