My latest for Slate, which is basically just a medium-footing of Paul Hockenos‘ spectacular article in the Chronicle. We ALL KNOW that Heidegger was a fucking Nazi asshole (and also a word-making-up prick), but in the literary disciplines, people still worship him like the words coming out of his mouth are important. It’s the analytic philosophers, they say, whose insistence on the existence of immutable concepts, or the concept of “meaning” at all, are “fascistoid,” as Avitall Ronell once intoned in a documentary. A massive irony, given that the root of all of that Derrida/Foucault/Lacan/Zizek French hooey was an actual Fascist.
Also, some controversy about my use of the word “mansplain” in the article. The guy in question in grad school, a condescending twerp of a man, was most certainly mansplaining me about TS Eliot at the time. He was talking to me as if I could never possibly, with my tiny feeble female mind, know anything important about poetry, Eliot, “usury,” Jews or what an “anti-Semite” is. His treatment of women in an intellectual capacity was 100% different than his treatment of his fellow bros, and in the same conversation, he also let it be known that the poor are poor because they just don’t work hard enough. He was a twerp, a racist, a sexist, and a fuckface. I stand by “mansplain.”