Camille Paglia: critics can no longer read, poets can no longer write

From The Daily Telegraph:

Camille_pagliaWhat fascinated me about English was what I later recognised as its hybrid etymology: blunt Anglo-Saxon concreteness, sleek Norman French urbanity, and polysyllabic Greco-Roman abstraction. The clash of these elements, as competitive as Italian dialects, is invigorating, richly entertaining and often funny, as it is to Shakespeare, who gets tremendous effects out of their interplay. The dazzling multiplicity of sounds and word choices in English makes it brilliantly suited to be a language of poetry. It’s why the pragmatic Anglo-American tradition (unlike effete French rationalism) doesn’t need poststructuralism: in English, usage depends upon context; the words jostle and provoke one another and mischievously shift their meanings over time.

English has evolved over the past century because of mass media and advertising, but the shadowy literary establishment in America, in and outside academe, has failed to adjust.

More here.