It seems that the final days of the presidential campaign have made Erica Jong and her friends more than a little anxious.
A few days ago, Jong, the author and self-described feminist, gave an interview to the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, the choicest bits of which were brought to my attention by the reliably sharp-eyed Christian Rocca, the U.S. correspondent of Il Foglio, who published excerpts on his Camillo blog. Basically, Jong says her fear that Obama might lose the election has developed into an "obsession. A paralyzing terror. An anxious fever that keeps you awake at night." She also says that her friends Jane Fonda and Naomi Wolf are extremely worried that Obama will be sabotaged by Republican dirty tricks, and that if an Obama loss indeed comes to pass, the result will be a second American Civil War.
Here’s a translation of Jong’s more spirited quotes to the Milan-based Corriere, as selected by Rocca.
"My friends Ken Follett and Susan Cheever are extremely worried. Naomi Wolf calls me every day. Yesterday, Jane Fonda sent me an email to tell me that she cried all night and can’t cure her ailing back for all the stress that has reduces her to a bundle of nerves."
"My back is also suffering from spasms, so much so that I had to see an acupuncturist and get prescriptions for Valium."
"After having stolen the last two elections, the Republican Mafia…"
"If Obama loses it will spark the second American Civil War. Blood will run in the streets, believe me. And it’s not a coincidence that President Bush recalled soldiers from Iraq for Dick Cheney to lead against American citizens in the streets."
"Bush has transformed America into a police state, from torture to the imprisonment of reporters, to the Patriot Act."
She also laments that not all of America’s men of letters share her devotion to Obama.
"Tom Wolfe and John Updike are men of the right and Philip Roth is at this point a hermit who leads a monastic life in Connecticut, far from everything and everybody."
Luckily, she said there is her and Michael Chabon, who, she says, have "taken the place of Susan Sontag and Norman Mailer respectively."
They have the same political sensibilities, she said, but a better "sense of humor."