(Un)Dead Art

I’ve been looking through literary magazines lately.

Why, an intelligent reader might ask, would you want to do that? Why would you want to burden your already tired brain with the idiotic pretension and self-congratulatory pseudo-originality, the Lacan-worship and intellectual stagnation of these warty outgrowths of an artistic elite that has lost all vision and direction?

Well, mostly because I sometimes forget just how true the above paragraph is. And because I have a short story that I wrote quite some time ago and would kind of like to get published. And because the “genre” (how I hate that term) magazines would never publish it. Because it would be good for me and good for the story.

But Lord, if I have to look at another incoherent sentence disguised as a poem, or another rambling Frankenstein of self-referential clichés, I think I am going to vomit.


  1. As someone who works in the university’s Writing Center, my work consists mostly of explaining to people why they should write clearly and simply. There is a huge tradition of academic prose that is simply obscurantist nonsense. The same goes for much of post-modern philosophy: meaningless sentences that hide their lack of content in name-dropping and absurd structural complexity. It’s one of the main reasons I so dislike modern academia: there are very few people left who actually have something to say, and a great many who spend most of their time saying nothing in elaborate ways.

    So I pretty much agree with the link – in fact I’d go much further in my criticism.

  2. Sarah

    I figured you would. The clarity of your writing, even in an informal setting like this, makes me enormously happy because I see so little of it. I also do editing and writing on the job and it’s nearly as bad as academia. At least on the job, however, I can do something about it.
    I’ve grown so tired of reading articles that could be half the length with twice the clarity.
    So I pretty much agree with you – and that’s essentially why I am abandoning the academic sphere. I simply can’t stand the hypocrisy and bullshit, along with the (ironic) lack of intellectual stimulation.

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