As I mentioned in my new Taki’s Magazine column, “Hogwash 101,” postmodern academic theorists love the verb “interrogate,” even though it has a distinctly secret police aura that I always associate with Gestapo officer Major Wolfgang Hochstetter in Hogan’s Heroes.
For example, from The Guardian:
by Natalie Hanman
… In the book, the American academic, who died of breast cancer in 2009 aged 58, deploys erudite and playful readings of texts by Oscar Wilde, Henry James and Marcel Proust to interrogate assumptions about the stability of sexual identity and how language works to define a homo/heterosexual binary.
Okay, but doesn’t the notion of interrogating the delicate and extremely civilized trio of Wilde, James, and Proust bring to mind images of breaking a butterfly on the wheel?
Why is the use of this ugly verb an affectation of postmodern academics today?
Is it a tribute to the part-time Nazi Heidegger, who had so much influence upon Sartre and later French intellectuals? Or do they just like the idea of dressing up in shiny black leather uniforms and interrogating helpless dissidents?