February 27, 2006

Skewered and hung out to dry

Don't miss today's delicious posting by Gardner Campbell, in reaction to a piece on the Beatles by WSJ/Commentary critic Terry Teachout (see also Critic Terry Teachout Consumes Too Much Art, Violently Explodes). One bit of Gardner's prose that I especially envy:

...yet another example of the disconnect between a thriving and important culture and the dessicated culture that mediates it to the industry of education. There is indeed a freeze-dried quality to Teachoutís analysis that, coupled with its gobsmacking superficiality, simply betrays the energy and value of its subject...
This (in the context, no doubt, of my recent wander through George Orwell's works) reminded me of three fragments I'd tucked away for future reference, for use when feeling oppressed by academic foolishments:

"The onanistic pursuit of academic similacritude" (Garth Boomer in Goswami and Stillman Reclaiming the Classroom, pg. 6)

Oh, how he hated grant proposals. The hollow promises; the vaunting celebration of past success; the self-advertising emphasis on importance and significance; the absence of understatement; the omnipresence of exaggeration; the servile allegiance to tradition, formula, and established procedure; the utter predictability of every other sentence; the implicit greed of the genre... (David Carkeet Double Negative, pg. 31)

"It was much pleasanter at home," thought poor Alice, "when one wasnít always growing larger and smaller, and being ordered about by mice and rabbits--I almost wish I hadnít gone down that rabbit-hole, and yet, and yet--itís rather curious, you know, this sort of life..." (Lewis Carroll, from Chapter 2 of Alice's Adventures Underground)

Posted by oook at February 27, 2006 02:12 PM

Much obliged, Hugh, for the kind words and especially for the good fellowship of the three fragments, all of which pleased me very well.

I sure wish you lived closer.

And I grow ever more grateful that we did have that one chance to break bread together. May it not be the last!

Posted by: Gardner at February 28, 2006 10:20 AM