One danger of ‘false difficulty’ in the humanities lies in the constant ballooning upwards and outwards of ideas and theories brought on by every surge of academic commentary. The origin or source of the problems that occupy us are lost as we gleefully alight here and there onto the latest ‘interpretation’ or ‘jargon’ and go with it where we will.

Well, every tree has roots. As a tree grows upwards and outwards, and becomes a mighty specimen to hold up in awe and rapt observation, its roots dig deeper into the earth, deeper into the dark. Every theory or interpretation that contributes a new word to the industry of ‘false difficulty’ also contributes a deepening of the roots – a deepening into the dark – and we are in danger of becoming lost to the interminable ‘chatter’ of half-baked scholarship. The roots are almost inaccessible to us now, so what hope do we have of recovering the problem itself?

Advertisements