George Orwell, “As I Please” Tribune 28 January 1944
Whether a poet, as such, is to be forgiven his political opinions is a different question. Obviously one mustn’t say “X agrees with me: therefore he is a good writer”, and for the last ten years honest literary criticism has largely consisted in combating this outlook. Personally I admire several writers (CÚline, for instance) who have gone over to the Fascists, and many others whose political outlook I strongly object to. But one has the right to expect ordinary decency even of a poet.