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The self-critic: The man who praised literary theory to thousands of students now wants them to bury it

Roland Barthes famously announced the death of the author. This weekend, as thousands of professors and their apprentices mill about the annual meeting of the Modern Language Association in San Diego, one might ask: Has theory succumbed to the same fate? … [T]heory’s promised political liberation never happened. Cultural theory, he argues, instead mutated into a free-for-all, where students now use Derrida to deconstruct ”Friends,” not to change the world…

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Give 'em Enough Rope

‘The fakir drew from under his knee a ball of grey twine. Taking the loose end between his teeth, he, with a quick upward motion, tossed the ball into the air. Instead of coming back to him, it kept on going up and up until out of sight and there remained only the long swaying end… [A] boy about six-years-old… walked over to the twine and began climbing up it……

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The Return of the King (but only after 25 minutes of infernal movie trailers)

The Return of the King (but only after 25 minutes of infernal movie trailers)Jerz’s LIteracy Weblog) My parents came to visit for a few days, so Leigh and I skipped out to see The Return of the King at a matinee. (We saw The Two Towers separately last year.) (*Spoilers*) Of course any cuts are painful; and I was particularly sad not to see Christopher Lee and Brad Dourif in…

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Top Ten Web Design Mistakes of 2003

Sites are getting better at using minimalist design, maintaining archives, and offering comprehensive services. However, these advances entail their own usability problems, as several prominent mistakes from 2003 show. —Jakob Nielsen —Top Ten Web Design Mistakes of 2003 (Alertbox) Usually Nielsen’s blurbs are more informative… the “summary” on his site reads more like a marketing tease. To give you a sense of what the page is like, I’ll have to collect…