Anyone Read Literary Criticism?

Jesus, this must be some of the hardest humanities-related stuff to read. Literary criticism is part of the Humanities, which includes sociology, anthropology, history, psychology, linguistics, performing arts – theater, film – visual arts – art and photography – philosophy, classics, law, theology, musicology, dance, and the awful “studies” fields like Black, Latino, Queer, Gender (feminism), etc. Studies. Of those, I’ve read sociology, anthropology, history, psychology, linguistics,

The “Studies” fields are worthless and ridiculous.

Sociology, psychology, anthropology, law, and history journals are actually rather straightforward and easy to read. I’ve read lots of all of them.

Linguistics can be very hard to understand even by someone with a major in like me.

I’ve never read a theater journal.

I’ve read film criticism but not for some time now. I always thought it was hard to read, but lately it seems a lot easier. It’s fairly straightforward.

I always thought art criticism was awful and could never make heads or tails out of it.

Classics can probably be very hard to understand, but I’ve little if any in their journals.

Law journals are actually quite straightforward and easy to understand for some reason, but then law is supposed to be logical, so it adds up. I’m reading a law journal article right now. It’s about 70 pages. It is remarkably easy for me to understand for whatever reason.

Never read any theology, dance, or musicology journals. I’m not sure these even exist. Rock criticism is pretty easy to read. I’ve looked at some theology discussion on the Web and while it’s weighty, it’s not really hard to understand.

Philosophy is just awful. I haven’t even dipped into their journals, but the major authors are nearly impenetrable. This is actually worse than literary criticism.

Now we get to literary criticism. It’s been critiqued as so hard to understand that it’s ridiculous, empty of meaning, pointless, silly, and a waste of time. I’ve read a lot of this stuff, and none of that is really true. Actually, it’s quite sensible and viable and a lot of extremely high-level thinking goes into it. I think there’s something of value being said in most of their articles even though it might be hard to understand.

If any of you out there think literary criticism or at least its modern version is nothing but nonsensical gibberish, please feel free to chime in. Because I’m afraid it can definitely read that way. A lot of that stuff is almost impenetrable.

I’m a Thomas Pynchon fan. Speaking of hard to understand! Nevertheless, I love his stuff no matter how hard it is to figure out what he’s trying to say. It’s like reading James Joyce. He can be pretty hard to figure out too. I used to read Pynchon Notes, the journal devoted to his work. Nice journal. Pynchon Notes was supplanted a few years later by error3


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