Friday, October 28, 2016

Poor Lost Soul . . .

Currently reading Fantasy, Politics, Postmodernity: Pratchett, Pullman, Mieville and Stories of the Eye by Andrew Rayment.

Smart book, but he's much too heavily enamored -- as might be expected of the title -- of poststructuralist theory. He loves needlessly arcane terminology, even inventing it where none already exists (hence his distinction between Pragmatikos and Allos), and his style has all the weaknessess, obscurities, wordiness, and puns we've come to expect that that style of academic writing.***

And he's absolutely in love with Slavoj Zizek, whom Rayment is clearly imitating. As I'm reading this, I can't help thinking, "You poor fool -- you never had a chance." Zizek should be considered a poor of abuse for undergraduate and graduate students.

***Examples of the style:

  • “Crucial to this notion of opening up is the way in which representation of both the ‘real’-world elements and the domain at one step removed in an in-existent space un-located in historical space or time allows for their transformation, a change that marks the critical edge of these texts” (24). The first half of the sentence is merely wordy, but it becomes a true piece of work once it gets to the hyphenated phrase. Things get even worse when he starts putting pieces of words into parentheses.
  • There is no reason to privilege the way something seems to a were-person over the way it seems to an unawere-person” (119, emphasis original). Groan. Groan. Groan. Groan.

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