On March 11th, the Daily Princetonian published an interview with “Princeton Mom” Susan Patton, P’77. On March 25th, the Daily Princetonian published a letter to the editor signed by over 200 Princeton faculty members, including Joyce Carol Oates and Anne-Marie Slaughter, written in response to one of Patton’s answers.
Scott McLemee has some harsh words for Princeton’s Cornel West. In reviewing West’s new memoir, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud, McLemee dissects West as a celebrity academic whose emphasis has long since shifted to the “celebrity” and not the “academic”.
McLemee dredges up all the lowlights of West’s recent career—(the spoken-word album, the Matrix cameos—almost unsportsmanlike, by the second paragraph
West described his projects as “bold,” “challenging” and “exciting.” These are adjectives, it must be said, better left in someone else’s hands…
Cornel West’s work was once bold, challenging, exciting. The past tense here is unavoidable.
West’s memoir sound like a bizarre piece of work, for sure. McLemee looks at one section on marriage terrifying to any and all students with crushes on Prof. West:
I will not let life or death stand in the way of this sublime and funky love that I crave!
One of the critic’s main grievances with the work itself: West’s choice to work with a coauthor in crafting what West calls a “‘conversational’ voice.” (Oh snap!) McLemee devotes an entire paragraph of his review to a strangely drawn-out comparison of West to David Hume, who “published numerous very popular essays with the help of a writer from Entertainment Weekly.”
After the jump, deep analysis and videos of insane professors.