The Null Device

"It is a much cleverer thing to speak nonsense than to listen to it." A good essay on how the cult of obfuscation has swallowed up the study of literature:

suffixes are added, like flourishes in music, to words considered too plain... inert becomes inertial. One graduate student substitutes the more rococo relationality for relation. In a class on Thoreau, we turn a noun into a verb, and speak of how he solitudinised. It is common to speak of technology when one perhaps simply means method
I ask one professor what is on her bedside table. The answer: a bestseller about physics. `No novels?' Her reply: `I don't read literature for pleasure any more'. One of my peers, who came to Yale after abandoning a degree in creative writing, is scornful of writing and of reading. `The joy of analysis, that's what it's all about', he rhapsodises. `Pure intellectual play. Much better than reading.' His expression is quite serious. For him, enjoyment of literature is a stage that one transcends.

(via Found)

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