This new movie about German resistance to Hitler was better than I expected. It speaks to the literary Resistance of now in that it's about a conspiracy against a conspiracy.
Parallels abound. American literature was highjacked in the 1950's; its great history distorted and its path diverted.
In October 2000 a tiny band of underground zeensters-- the most shut-out of writers-- plotted to recapture American literature. What was amazing was how much we accomplished against enormous odds.
Given the more peaceful field of conflict, our opponents were as ruthless as Nazis (I'm being marginally hyperbolic), led by a cult-like figure receiving unthinking obedience from his followers. American literature today is dominated by a well-selected Overclass which propagates, through journals like McSweeney's and N+1, jargon-filled bureaucratic writing so intentionally hostile to the public it could be written in another language.
All members of the literary Resistance, past, present, and future, should see "Valkyrie" for its lessons about rebellion: That once action is begun it must be carried through in organized fashion without hesitation, with no turning back, if there's to be a chance of success. The lesson of the film is that even if resistance ends in defeat it must be carried out regardless, to show that not all were obedient automatons. For writers especially, for this period of lit to have relevance, we must show we weren't sheep; that some of us believed the art could again become purposeful, relevant, and democratic.