"The symptoms of this malady, named after the longtime editor of Harper’s, Lewis H. Lapham (now of Lapham’s Quarterly), include an elevated, orotund, deeply ironic prose style that, in severe cases, reveals almost nothing about what the topic is or what the author wishes to say about it except for a general sense of superiority to everyone and everything around." —Michael Kinsley, who both succeeded and preceded Lewis Lapham as editor of Harper's, explains "Lapham's Disease." The diagnosis does not appear to be new.Via Michigan Mike and Alex Balk on THE AWL. The two links go a couple of interesting stories about people, power, books and ideas. Entertaining and enlightening.
Bonus Techno-Gripe: The first link goes to The New York Times. On any normal web page, should you come across a word you don't understand, you can double-click it to highlight it, then a right-click to pop up a menu that will allow you to search the web for that word.
This isn't good enough for the Times, they have substituted their own word lookup function. Double-clicking on the word highlights it just like on a normal web page, but then a little icon appears (a squarish comic strip balloon containing a question mark). Click on the balloon and up pops a new window with this helpful message:
The word you're looking for is not in our dictionary.
Dolts. The word I was looking for was Mimesis, which, thanks to Google, I now know means imitation or copy. Think mime or mimicry.