Academics can barely determine the proper amount to tip a barista; yet, they can tell cops how to fight crime and President's what trigger not to pull . . . and when. Academics comprise Blue Ribbon State panels of tweedy totalitarians who empty prisons of felons and ignore the families of victims.
Academics used to be the sad rumpled dopes that they are in real life. Only Camille Paglia among the literary lions stands up for real people. Professor Paglia called the most fatuous fraud in literary studies, Stanley Fish -America's Totalitarian Tinkerbell. Spot on, Doc.
I was lucky enough to be taught by teachers and only ran into an academic well past the time of being awed by the man's condescension and poor personal hygiene. I had about tens years of teaching under my pelt, before returning to post-graduate studies. This one poser taught some PC lit course on gender and colonialism. He was a faculty pain-in-the-ass and popular with the kids - easy A.
How sad that some people only read what academics find - vital, searing, game-changing and really stupid.
I imagine that the book reviews never get past the covers.
“Throughout, Dimock contends that American
literature is answerable not to the nation-state, but
to the human species as a whole, and that it looks
dramatically different when removed from a strictly
national or English-language context.”
I applaud this goal, yet all of the texts drawn
from global contexts “across deep time” are presented in English translations.
Henry James’s novels and
The Epic of Gilgamesh, to give one comic example,
get read together. I know—in this case, who cares?
But this is true throughout. Knowing a text in its
original language and cultural contexts is crucial.
If such knowledge is removed, due to the scholar’s
inadequacies or the assumed reader’s, the result is
readings lacking resonance, depth, weight. Reading
then is like looking at a child’s shaken snow globe,
with the texts-snowflakes gradually settling down to
one common level. All are globally equal now but
equally bland and banal." Daniel T. O’Hara
"Cheesy, laughable, and
iterative: the writer who brought you a fudge recipe
in Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang (1964) introduces the
bondsman of global capital." -Eyal Amiran University of California, Irvine
"How cleverly condescending can one get? A tear falling in a field of snow!" -Marjorie Perloff
"The character of Clyde had been pulled out of Dreiser’s own murky
inner life. Dreiser has never been accused of being
a stylist, so a difference in language is not the question; it is more a matter of Dreiser letting the public
record interfere with his re-imagining ."William A. O’Rourke
University of Notre Dame
"This formulaic knock-off
of fantastic conspiracy theories is a trite study for a
film script—and no wonder the movie was also bad.
I love the chapters that are only a couple of lines
long." Bonnie Wheeler
Southern Methodist University
In a world that depends up Public Televison to determine what restaurant serves really important cuisine, it is always nice to go out and eat some good chow in the Heart of Italy.
Do so likewise with what you read.