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Ideological Fascism

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To the editors:

Thank you for running Michael Solot's review (October 15) of Edward Said's book, Culture and Imperialism. At last a real critic points out that this pseudocritic has no clothes. Said has been publishing pseudo literary criticism for over two decades now and getting away with it, as well as occupying a prestigious chair at an eminent university, because real literary critics have been unwilling to read what he has actually been saying. (Or they have been reading it as far as they could stomach it--for it is not only stupid but badly written as well--and throwing it aside in disgust.) If they had been reading it, however, they would have found, as Mr. Solot does, that he has been talking like a character out of Alice in Wonderland for all of his so-called professional life. Said has a political message to deliver, and damn what the novels he reads (or says he reads) actually say: they will say what he wants them to say! Mr. Solot has taken the time to notice this slight flaw in Said's book.

Mr. Said and the rest of the ideologues who now occupy professor's chairs across this nation need careful attending to because they will tell you black is white, up is down, the world is flat, and, yes, that Jane Austen was an imperialist. Even freshman students of literature know better.

Thank you, Mr. Solot, for so cogently making your case and demonstrating just how vacuous Mr. Said is. I would recommend that any literature student whose study of literature is being distorted by a political ideologue professor read Mr. Solot's review of Said's book. It is highly instructive of the vacuity and tortured thinking behind the ideological fascism at work on campuses today.

Mel Livatino

English Department

Truman College

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