Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Theory, Literature, Hoax

Worth a read, largely for the following bits:

From the intro:
We love stories as much as we need them, but a funny thing has happened to departments of literature. The study of literature as an art form, of its techniques for delighting and instructing, has been replaced by an amalgam of bad epistemology and worse prose that goes by many names but can be summed up as Theory.
From the (very short) story:
Rumors had reached us of a doctrine called Theory emanating from distant corners of the university. We in the Department of Philosophy understood it immediately as a grand hoax....This is the story not of my particular emotions but rather of Theory. Suffice it to say that the self-parody of the appellation, singular and majuscule as if affixed in Plato’s firmament, appeared to rule out all interpretations competing with that of shenanigan. So, too, did the buffoonery of the language, phraseology bloated past the point of grotesqueness.


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