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Sally Rooney puts money before Marx

Amy Sussman/Getty Images

“Great Millennial Novelist” Sally Rooney is full of contradictions, says Sarah Ditum in UnHerd. A literary celebrity at 30, she’s publishing her third novel next week – a searing takedown of literary celebrities. Yet to tout the book, her publisher has set up a Sally Rooney pop-up shop in Shoreditch, east London, which will flog her books, teach calligraphy and host candle-making classes. It’s an unfortunate marketing strategy for someone who despises the spotlight and is famously a Marxist. “Here she is, fronting up a lifestyle outlet as though she were a Love Island influencer.”

Cancelling Shakespeare won’t end well

Shakespeare is being cancelled for the usual reasons, says Charles Moore in The Daily Telegraph. Namely that he is “dead, white and male”. He also held “colonial” views, apparently, “although he was born 150 years before anything that could be called the British empire existed”. It’s absurd, especially given Shakespeare’s gift for separating himself from his writing. “With most great novelists – Tolstoy, Hardy, Dickens – an authorial view intrudes.” In Shakespeare, however, every word is spoken in character. “We, the audience, may choose to take sides: Shakespeare doesn’t.”

It’s the perfect antidote to modern wokeness, and to use his work as evidence of his opinion is to submit “his genius to acute torture”. After all, “he is the embodiment of what is meant by a creative writer, rather than a polemicist or even a philosopher. He gives full space to his own creations, none to himself.”