Thursday, March 31, 2011

Summing Up an Era

In a review that is itself self-parodic, George Steiner, godfather of the portentous pronouncement, looks back on the era of high French theory, encylopedically summed up in a book by Pierre Bouretz:

As one puts down this inevitably mandarin diagnosis of quarrels that already seem dated, a thought intrudes. How remote is the English guise and atmosphere of philosophy from its Continental and North American counterparts. Is that due to parochialism or good sense?
"Quarrels that already seem dated." Sigh. How true. Living long is indeed the best revenge, but still it is sad to see one's youth immolated on the twin altars of "parochialism" and "good sense." (h/t Sam Moyn)

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