Saturday, October 25, 2008

Ho, ho, hoaxes

The realisation that language and story are unstable and negotiable becomes in too many writers a free pass to believing that facts are, that events are. Maybe it's literature that needs a Sokal hoax. Maybe it came and we showered it with prizes. For at the end of that long cul-de-sac is suspicion of everything but one's own suspicion.

-- Glyn Maxwell


the unreliable narrator said...

Did you ever hear EK's story about passing on the Sokal paper? Surely she made that up (but why?).

Walk softly and carry a long suspicion.

Don Share said...

Heh. That was part of the hoax, you know!!!

Michael Robbins said...

The thing people don't get about the Sokal hoax is that it proved exactly nothing. It didn't even prove that the editors of Social Text are gullible. One relies on all sorts of indicators when judging a paper's worth, not the least of which is the assumption that it was submitted & authored in good faith, & that the author's credentials mean something about his standing in his field. Pauvre Sokal indeed; it's those who, having read little or no theory & understood less, point to the hoax as some sort of validation of their ignorance who are the real dupes.

m.r. said...

(That was directed at the Glyn Maxwells, not the Dons or Unreliables.)