Chomsky Dissed by Wolfe?
In an AP article attributed to a certain Hillel Italie, "Tom Wolfe talks Darwin, Chomsky and human speech" (Washington Post, August 29, 2016), Noam Chomsky is reported as getting dissed by Tom Wolfe, and I was especially struck by Wolfe's dissenting analysis of Chomsky's rise to prominence:
"Chomsky's politics enhanced his reputation as a great linguist, and his reputation as a great linguist enhanced his reputation as a political solon, and his reputation as a political solon inflated his reputation from great linguist to an all-around genius, and the genius inflated the solon into a veritable Voltaire, and the veritable Voltaire inflated the genius of geniuses into a philosophical giant . . . Noam Chomsky."This is an interesting analysis by Wolfe, but how do we know it's true? Did Chomsky's stature rise in this roundabout manner, each turn of this screwy path to would-be philosopher king resting upon nothing but the previous fateful twist?
But if Chomsky did rise in this fashion - and Wolfe should know fashion - then who can fill his bootstraps, a barren quest if ever there were one?
Labels: Noam Chomsky