Sunday, October 04, 2009

The truly educated

'I love nothing so much as reading the utterly exquisite Marxist prose of Perry Anderson, for example, on early modern Europe. If I could write as he does I would be pretty darn happy. The problem is, when I look and see what he has written over the years in the same exquisite style about The Crisis, referring to the contemporary period and not, say, the Enclosure Movement, over in the pages of New Left Review, I can’t say that any of it seems to turn out as argued. And after enough times when it doesn’t, even I start to wonder if maybe it isn’t quite the right way to think about early modern Europe, either.'

The indication of a truly educated person is they can read exquisite prose and work out that it is nevertheless substantively crap.

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