Extract: Theorybabble

by Harry Redner

The history of Theorybabble is now well-known to everyone and is an often-told story that need not preoccupy us unduly. It arose in the hothouse atmosphere of the avant gardist intellectual circles of the Paris of the 1960s and 70s. But it only really flourished in the American elite universities of the 1980s and 90s. Since then, it has become much more widespread, though not in Paris itself, where it has more or less petered out.