University Diaries
A professor of English describes American university life.
Aim: To change things.
Contact UD at: margaret-dot-soltan-at-gmail-dot-com

Read my book, TEACHING BEAUTY IN DeLILLO, WOOLF, AND MERRILL (Palgrave Macmillan; forthcoming), co-authored with Jennifer Green-Lewis. VISIT MY BRANCH CAMPUS AT INSIDE HIGHER ED

UD is...
"Salty." (Scott McLemee)
"Unvarnished." (Phi Beta Cons)
"Splendidly splenetic." (Culture Industry)
"Except for University Diaries, most academic blogs are tedious."
(Rate Your Students)
"I think of Soltan as the Maureen Dowd of the blogosphere,
except that Maureen Dowd is kind of a wrecking ball of a writer,
and Soltan isn't. For the life of me, I can't figure out her
politics, but she's pretty fabulous, so who gives a damn?"
(Tenured Radical)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Henry, at The Occasional Review

…analyzes with some care the Columbia Spectator writer’s unimpressive prose. It was an analysis I didn’t want to do, though I saw the same thing, because I wanted to focus on the larger scandal of Columbia’s MFA program that the writer inelegantly describes. But Henry’s more or less correct that the writing

illustrates how a writer can - while making assertions that are, for all I know, totally accurate - expose himself … thoroughly as a pompous jackass. And in a few hundred words! I also find it rather amusing that a professor who accuses students of being barely literate is such a terrible writer.

Henry, like UD, also singles out the language that a “senior colleague” the writer quotes uses. But while UD had only a brief parenthetical comment to make about this colleague’s English, Henry goes to town on him:

[Slouka] … provide[s] a thumbnail sketch from an unnamed "senior colleague," who has apparently been hanging out a lot in the 17th century: "How I wish I could believe there will be some surcease, some righting of the ship in the foreseeable [future]. Alas, I fear it will not be so." My stars, will there be no surcease? Alack, what poverty my muse brings forth - O, Gods, blame me not if I no more can write!

This is cruel but funny.