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New Left Review I/172, November-December 1988


Russell Jacoby

A Reply to Lynn Garafola

Stray phrases are sometimes more revealing than central points. Lynn Garafola in her intemperate review of my book calls me a ‘self-proclaimed leftist’. What she means is that I have not been licensed by her circles that deliver the official proclamations. She is incensed because I lack respect for their rituals and successes like New Yorker notice. In her list of public intellectuals I have failed to acknowledge, she includes October editor Rosalind Krauss, ‘an art critic so well-known that a New Yorker profile (on someone else) opened with a description of her living room’. I like that, but I’m a little puzzled by the reasoning. Is it Krauss’s living room that makes her a public intellectual? Or Janet Malcolm’s description of it in the New Yorker? Or both?

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