25 APRIL 1992, Page 37

The Critics Are Too Much With Us with apologies to


The world is full of phonies. Sooner or later, whether you like it or not, they'll lay waste your head. Whatever you set out to say, they'll say it's been said - by Derrida, Steiner, Trilling, Allen Tate or even Eliot, Saintsbury, Walter Pater, Arnold, or else those Greek blokes — hordes of dead (or good-as) thinkers in their well-made bed of critical rigour. God, I'd rather date a baboon with halitosis and the pox than deconstruct the mindless bloody farce of academics getting off their rocks on isms that enable them to parse the horseshit of some nouveau orthodox