Monday, May 23, 2005

Still basically pissed off at Christopher Bitchin' for his niggling, wrong-headed review of the Johns Hopkins' Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism , a resource (networked, thankfully) I've found enormously useful as I've stumbled around in the dark, half-deserted places of lit. crit. and philosophy. I guess my beef should really be with the NYT Book Review, a publication that never ceases to bore me half-to-death and consistently fail to review books of interest. I've wasted a good deal of money on books that got good marks there. A glutton for punishment, I be, I suppose. Getting the marxophobic, Republocrat Christopher Hitchens to review this volume is like getting me to review The Encyclopedia of Paleontology. I'm not its real audience, only listening in, and to waste half a page quarreling with the usage of assert/argue is a waste of newsprint. Perhaps I'm missing an appropriate sense of humor. Were I in a different mood, perhaps his shocked tone that objectivity is "disputed; even denied" would strike me as funny. But there's really nothing funny about a writer invoking George Orwell to ultimately call for the censorship and policing of literary criticism--more of the "why can't they be accessible?" rhetoric we hear in the po. world. This isn't to say that I don't find some theorists unnecessarily obscurantist, but to singlehandedly wave away an entire discipline, as if everything worth saying could be written in NYT language, is absolutely infuriating. He seems to miss the fact that these thinkers aren't writing for, or responding to, a general audience, any more than people working on superstring theory are using the high-school algebra I still remember. With all apologies for the analogy syndrome.

On other fronts, I'm thinking of developing and marketing Good Book Toilet Paper (TM)--"Soft on your bottom, hard on your soul." It might really sell.

2 comments:

dag said...

Flush the Classics Down the Toilet. Who ever gets up off of the pot without looking to see what they left behind? There the human shit sits, mingling with the past great works of man.

dag said...

Special / Ordinary
Spiritual / Earthly
Patriarch / Matriarch
Sensuality and Sexuality
Psychological Knower
Independent / Dependent
Invisible / Spacer / Chameleon
Responsible Parent
Jungle / Victim
Abuser / Abusee
Inner Children

Rule Maker / Rebel
Observer / Spontaneous
Mind / Feelings
Control / Release
Pleaser / Selfish
What will people think
Pusher / Being
Perfectionist / Slob
Power / Vulnerability
Personal / Impersonal
Critic / inner Teacher