Bad review

October 21, 2005

Why do you publish "reviews" such as the one by Jacques Guy of the Cambridge Companion to Saussure (Books, October 7), which was nothing more than a parade of the prejudices of the reviewer?

Guy picks on just four chapters from the book and dismisses them. He then dismis-ses the whole book, asserting that, as the book progresses, Saussure "becomes a vanishing backdrop [for] the luminaries of the postmodernist movement". This is rubbish: only one or two of the authors could be described as postmodernist, and this label does not fit any of the four authors named.

One must wonder how much of the book Guy read, and whether he understood much of it - or whether he just wanted an oppor-tunity to parade his prejudices.

Does The Times Higher think that jaundiced and uninformed reviews such as this one contribute anything to serious academic debate?

Peter Figueroa

Emeritus professor


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