"We've got important work here... a lot of filing, and giving things names."
Ha!I just read a work published by a great press and recommended to me by multiple people that at times read like a dissertation by a grad student out of his depth & with no real sense of what his audience might know about post-Reformation religious history--I'm talking embarrassingly reductive accounts of complicated historical events; the casual use of contested and/or outdated terms; etc). Given the kinds of quibbles that hold up and/or block really smart & worthwhile projects, the mind boggles to see such howlers in print.
Flavia, that's so true. In this case, it seems to be a distinguished senior person, writing a career-capping interpretive synthesis. These can either be great, or they can be lazy; this one seems to be a bit of both.But s/he's a known name, and so gets to publish whatever. I get the feeling this happens a lot more than we'd like to think. And if it's a Great Eminence, people will praise it to the skies. I've been stalling on a book review for just this reason: huge name in the field... and the book reads like a 300-page info dump, with nary an argument in sight.
You are totally right about what Famous People (TM) are able to get away with. I was once told by one of the readers when a totally stupid article was published by a "name" that he knew the article was dumb, but he wanted Famous People to write about the subject.But also, if the book is a combination of great and lazy, people don't push on the lazy because of the great, and the praise reflects the great, while the lazy is overlooked.I also find that some people, particularly those who publish a lot, get careless about writing.
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