English saviours and pseuds 2

June 28, 2002

If "lit critters" really want to "sell" themselves, they should write comprehensible English.

Even though I have a PhD in literature, I am baffled by the labyrinthine syntax and jargon-ridden prose of many literary theorists. What is one to make of such statements as "phallic law is used within film studies to deconstruct cinematic apparatus", or references to "the essential essence" and "the feminological intersubjective space that oscillates between one-ness and otherness" in recent texts?

Until theorists learn to write English, their only hope of appearing in the mainstream press will be in Private Eye 's "Pseud's Corner".

M. Wood
London W1

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