The literary equivalent of toothache

Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 22.19.39Much psychoanalytical writing, writes Dalrymple,

has all the stylistic flair and intellectual excitement of a speech by the late Leonid Brezhnev.

While the founder of psychoanalysis was, Dalrymple says,

a brilliant author and may profitably be read by anyone, the writings of his followers are readable only as an act of religious devotion, even of contrition.

Indeed, psychoanalytical writing can be

painful to read, paragraph after paragraph conveying little or no sense, with no detectable difference in meaning when I convert affirmative sentences into their negatives.

Language is used

imprecisely and with little regard for aesthetic considerations. Style is often so barbarous that meaning can only be glimpsed, as through a glass darkly.

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