Re: reactionary views

From: <>
Date: Sun Jan 19 2003 - 10:19:08 EST

Thanks, Scottie,

That is just the sort of article/review I would have expected you to
"commend" to us all. I think it speaks for itself.

But as to the claim that:

"'half the humanities professors [in the US]' now enforce the
deconstructionist dogma on pain of something worse than death."

This not only was never true, it's now quite the opposite. Almost no one in
US English departments and Humanities departments actively does anything like
"deconstruction" anymore or publishes strictly deconstructive critical works
or even teaches it much outside of history of and intro to criticism survey
courses. It's rare even to find a single faculty member in most departments
who still reads Derrida's current work or could even tell you what it is
about or who uses anything actually by Derrida or any approaches influenced
by his work in their non-survey literature classes. There was a short period
of time, decades ago, when American practitioners of something loosely taken
from early Derridean texts had some power in prestigious departments like
Yale and Duke and UC Irvine, but that too has seriously faded. And the
moment when familiarity with Derrida's work was often required in regular
literature courses happened well over fifteen to twenty years ago and has
long since passed.

I won't comment on the lunacy of a phrase like "deconstructionist dogma," but
I did want to correct your history and tell you that you can relax.
Professional literature scholars here in the good old USA, for the most part,
are long since over all that "deconstruction" stuff and have moved on to more
comforting things like "culture."

Of course, the Hemingway crowd that I've read never seemed to get over its
devotion to the cult of personality and so that industry remains mired in
squabbles over who papa liked best.

But that's another discipline.

All the best,


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Received on Sun Jan 19 10:19:11 2003

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