Pan Of The Day

May 14 2012 @ 1:25pm

They don't write book reviews like this (pdf) anymore:

Perhaps The Meaning of Disgust is useful as an aesthetic object in itself: an emblem of that most mod- ern creation, the pop philosophy book. Actual content, thought, or insight is entirely optional. The only real requirement is that the pages stroke the reader’s ego, make him feel he is doing something highbrow for once, something to better himself. The sad fact is the reader would learn more about disgust by reading Mad magazine.

For the rest of us—those who actually care about disgust, or aesthetic emotions, or scholarship at all— the book is bound to disappoint. "Who can deny the mood-destroying effect of an errant flatus just at the moment of erotic fervor?" he writes. McGinn’s book is just such a flatus, threatening to spoil an exciting intellectual moment for the rest of us. Sometimes with books, as with farts, it’s better to just hold it in.