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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 13, 2014 / 11 Adar II, 5774

An Academic Fraud Exposed

By Bob Tyrrell



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | From time to time, I put down my duties of writing about politics and other human follies and pick up a book, often a book of poetry, often by W. B. Yeats. The other night I read Yeats' poem "The Fiddler of Dooney." It is a little masterpiece, but then Yeats wrote so many masterpieces. It begins:

"When I play on my fiddle in Dooney,

Folk dance like a wave of the sea;

My cousin is priest in Kilvarnet,

My brother in Mocharabuiee. "

And on it dances for a few more stanzas, delighting the eye and the ear and the mind. Yeats obviously chose each word with the utmost care and gave his words a structure that was finely disciplined — good show W. B.!

Yet there are perverse profs among us who lecture that the poet's words and structure could be cat scratchings on the page or hieroglyphics composed by a drunk. The words have no universal meaning. These profs call themselves "deconstructionists," and those who are not out-and-out frauds are obviously mental defectives. Readers under their spell could read Yeats, but they could also find meaning in chicken entrails, and you can eat chicken entrails. That is why I am taking immense pleasure in the revelations offered by a new book, "The Double Life of Paul de Man," by Evelyn Barish. I shall propose her for a Presidential Medal of Freedom once we get a proper president.

De Man was a knock-about litterateur in Nazi-occupied Belgium who after the war made his way to New York City, then to Bard College, then Harvard, and finally he landed at Yale where he was fabulous in advancing the cause of deconstructionism among the professoriate who, by the way, are pretty dreadful writers. There were a lot of these prehensile emigres absconding from Europe after World War II. He died in 1983, which was lucky for him. Four years after his death it was discovered that while in Belgium he had written hundreds of literary articles for a collaborationist newspaper, one of which in 1941 speculated on what European literature would be like if the Jews were shipped to a remote colony. I doubt that de Man had Israel in mind. Of a sudden de Man's photo was appearing in Newsweek with photos of Nazi troops on the march.


Then things quieted down until Barish appeared with her book. Kirkus Reviews has called it the biography of a "master confidence man." She went back to de Man's early life on the Continent and found him indeed writing for collaborationists and even proposing an art magazine booming Nazi art. He was involved in various swindles and left Europe one step ahead of the law. In 1951, he was sentenced to five years in a Belgian prison for fraud, though by then he was plying his talents in New York City. He taught at Bard College, had affairs with vulnerable girls, and even married one, bigamously. He got his Ph.D. at Harvard where he occasionally skipped examinations, misrepresented his resume, and had his European record almost exposed. "He was," Barish told an interviewer "an enormously persuasive reinventor of himself."

Barish ends her book before de Man began his major teaching at Cornell and eventually at Yale, where he spread his theories of deconstruction like a smog. Yet she did say this about the imposter's philosophy. She apparently told the New York Times that she found that his philosophy — "the idea that meaning cannot be pinned down" and that "clear-cut moral judgments are impossible" — was "just a waste of time."

Well, Barish is a sophisticate. She let him off easy. To my mind de Man could have been a Nazi collaborator, a communist collaborator, a progressive collaborator. It all depends where he landed at a given time. There have been a lot like him and there will be more.

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JWR contributor Bob Tyrrell is editor in chief of The American Spectator.

© 2008, Creators Syndicate

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