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On Sun, 28 May 1995, David Desser wrote:
> . . . young, intelligent, articulate and readable critics of
> cinema have chosen academia as their "public" forum (where their
> "readability" has been beaten out of them for the most part).
 
Is this supposed to be alleviating the depression I complain about, OR WHAT?
"Beaten," of course, is a soft euphemism.  I know an academic who was
passionate about her subject and wrote about it at length.  The man (in
this case I would say the word "male" is more appropriate:  the MALE) who
was supposed to vet the stuff picked the living daylights out of it (and
I can tell you, the writing he picked at was clean in the extreme)
finding two single-spaced pages of words he claimed did not exist.  This
a F U L L  P R O F E S S O R (of course).  She supplied every single
definition from the OED, it goes without saying, but has been intimidated
ever since.
 
Yes, let's take Kael.  We don't always agree with her.  Often we don't
even respect her.  BUT SHE CAN WRITE.  And so did GILLIAT [sic?].  And
for that matter, John Simon, and even, for moments, Bosley Crowther.
Film doesn't seem to be something our finest writers want to write about
in a public forum, and I'm saddened by this, as I know David is, too.
Isn't there some way for us to address this, and bring about a new
situation?
 
I say, ISN'T THERE SOME WAY FOR US TO ADDRESS THIS AND BRING ABOUT A NEW
SITUATION?
 
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