One should add that he was an extraordinarily gifted con man, persuading the most discerning intellectuals that he had credentials he did not possess and a heroic personal history, rather than a scandalous one, while he worked his charm on generations of students. Just who was Paul de Man?
Emory University English professor Mark Bauerlein (previously) argues that the majority of research by literary academics has no meaningful value. [more inside]
Louis Crompton, the author of Homosexuality and Civilization and Byron and Greek Love, has died. [more inside]
Bioculture critiques Cultural Critique Until literature departments take into account that humans are not just cultural or textual phenomena but something more complex, English and related disciplines will continue to be the laughingstock of the academic world that they have been for years because of their obscurantist dogmatism and their coddled and preening pseudo-radicalism. Until they listen to searching criticism of their doctrine, rather than dismissing it as the language of the devil, literature will continue to be betrayed in academe, and academic literary departments will continue to lose students and to isolate themselves from the intellectual advances of our time.
The Valve, "a literary organ", is a new group blog devoted to literary studies and modelled on little magazines gone by.