Monday, December 20, 2010

Grant as culture of late observer

Jim Grant, the editor of Grant's Interest Rate Observer, has a book review in today's WSJ. As is always the case with Grant, in his newsletter, in essays and book reviews, in speeches, in conversation, and on occasional television and media interviews, there is always a brilliantly precise, or biting, sense of humor subtly coursing its way through his serious financial system observations. This review was no exception and the following paragraph is notable and requires no context.

"Which is to say, in the author's own words: 'Neoliberal penality and its earlier iterations have fertilized the carceral sphere.' Mr. Harcourt writes in two languages. The first you have already recognized as a servicable kind of American. The second, just quoted, is the tongue indigenous to the race of college professors who inhabit Planet Tenure. One can tease out some meaning from this tribal patois, but only with application."


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