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Purveyors of Truth

For many of today’s students, the ideas of Adorno, Foucault, Barthes, and the rest are practically indigestible; the long hours required to understand these thinkers are drudgery. But for a brief period in the twentieth century, the act of reading them was downright religious, the air in the . . . . Continue Reading »

From Work to Text and Back

Around 1980, those of us coming up in literary studies learned that we could no longer refer to a work of art. The term had become obsolete. If you uttered it even in passing, you appeared behind the times, not up-to-date. You had to use another word: text. Roland Barthes announced . . . . Continue Reading »

Vulgar Deconstruction

Back in the 1970s, when the humanities still set the intellectual tone for the college campus, it was common for advanced scholars to divide the personnel in two: There were those who understood High Theory and those who didn’t. New ideas and methods were in the air. Leading-edge journals and . . . . Continue Reading »

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