Saturday, October 22, 2011

another one to read

And now I have to get my hands on some books by the cantankerous Raymond Tallis, thanks to what I've learned from this article. Favorite paragraph:

...a moment of anger ... propelled [Tallis] to write the first prose book somebody actually wanted to publish. The trigger was Of Grammatology, by the French philosopher and literary theorist Jacques Derrida. "I thought, this is the kind of bullshit that's dominating so many aspects of the humanities," says Tallis, a sentiment that inspired his 1988 critique of literary theory, Not Saus­sure. Tallis took theorists to task for "bad linguistics," in particular misuses of Ferdinand de Saussure, a linguist whose ideas influenced structuralist and poststructuralist writers. At the time, the idea was to deconstruct texts to uncover underlying ideologies. Tallis felt that theory drove students to hate literature. He failed to incite a reaction from his foes in the "Theorrhoea-poisoned Groves of Hackademe," but others enjoyed his assault.

I doubt I'd agree with much of Tallis's worldview-- his insights into the philosophy of mind, for example, strike me as a cop-out along the lines of mysterianism-- but this won't prevent me from slapping one or two of his books on my Amazon Wish List.

ADDENDUM: Credit for bringing Raymond Tallis to my notice goes to David Duff, who left this comment on Malcolm's blog.


No comments: