In Defense of Theory

In a blog that I deeply respect, Marginal Utility, Rob Horning writes of Theory Cults and particularly about how the "Cult of Lacan" functioned in his comparitive-literature seminars during graduate school.  Horning dismisses Lacan as a religio-based prophet who was ultimately a narcissistic intellectual incapable of real emotional relations.  As a result, he claims that Lacan over-compensated …

In Defense of Freedom

David Brooks’ provocative review of Jonathan Franzen’s novel, Freedom, says more about how we should read novels than it does about anything else. He is right that Franzen’s primary arguments are: 1. Americans are overly obsessed with personal freedom, and 2. Contemporary America is largely unhappy and spiritually stunted. But Brooks is wrong about the …