Pseuds warning

August 7, 1998

WHY do you commission book reviews from people who believe that any amount of pretentious nonsense is acceptable, providing that it is written badly enough? Edward Neill's review of Queer Forster (THES, July 31) was crammed with parentheses, forced alliteration ("the macho-ised proponents of a masculinist modernism prone to mug anything 'effeminate'"), dreadful puns ("a 'camp site' as George Piggford pleasantly puts it, whose camp sightings may include camp citings of the pious and the platitudinous") and ugly jargon ("positively valorised") and bespattered with inverted commas and dropped names ("truly Hegel is everywhere") (my emphasis). Will you stop it if I threaten to send these gems to Private Eye for their "Pseuds Corner" column?

Penny Tucker Hartley Wintney, Hants

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