Academic Writing/Anne Frank Letters/Roy Fisher on Poetry/Beckett Slide Show

April 13, 2006

Rationalization for Academicese
 Linguist Michael McCarthy in a
Guardian essays argues that there's a place for academicese. I refer to the writing found frequently in academic journals, sometimes called scholarly journals. As McCarthy notes, the sentences depend on noun phrases of mind boggling length and passive voice. While the experts in a given field might understand what appears as gibberish to most readers, the writing stinks. McCarthy gets close to that point but never reaches it, rationalizing the need for the academic blathering. Even though he concedes that writers write for readers, he never concedes that writers should write so readers can easily comprehend what has been written. In the past decade, several individuals have written BS in traditional obfuscated academicese. Then a scholarly journal publishes it, indicating that even the editors of these publications can't tell the crap from the diamonds.

Letters of Anne Frank
An Amsterdam museum recently obtained letters from Anne Frank. She wrote them before and while in hiding. The
Guardian has published them.

Roy Fisher on Poetry
 Roy Fisher once said that a poem “has business to exist…if there's a reasonable chance that somebody may have his perceptions rearranged by having read it.” That quotation is found in
August Kleinzahler's review of Risher's The Long and the Short of It for the London Review of Books.

Beckett Slide Show
Samuel Beckett would have been 100 years old today.
Slate celebrated with a slide show featuring pictures of the Irish playwright.

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