Thanks James for a much-needed article. When I was at Oxford studying English, post-structuralism was all the rage. For my thesis I wrote about Lawrence Durrell’s use of l’objet p’tit a in The Avignon Quintet. I’d read Foucault, Lacan, Barthes, Derrida et al and was convinced the entire post-structuralist movement was intellectually fraudulent. So my thesis was essentially a parody and, for anyone bothering to read closely enough, intentionally self-contradictory and self-negating. Needless to say it received an A++ from the examiners because although intellectually empty it had the merit of containing all the necessary buzzwords and cliches.

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