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Oh, no, I don't want that! I want the book!

Elizabeth's picture

A couple of days ago, we read Timothy Morton's "Introduction: Toward a Theory of Ecological Criticism." Although we discussed in class yesterday that Morton's dense and hard to read language makes sense, because his work is literary criticism, not an explanation of a theory he came up with, I still have some issues with the style of the excerpt. Mainly, my issue with the style is that it is what it says it is: an introduction. I dislike the style of introductions. They simultaneously summarize the work they preface, and their authors try to weave a separate narrative throughout the introduction. But this makes me impatient. Introductions just drag on and on, almost getting to the point, and then digressing to talk about something unrelated to fill the pages and sound impressive. Introduction just make me want to either get to the darn book, and turn me completely off of it. With this introduction, I just wanted to read the book, and get past the fluff. I appreciated what Morton was trying to do, and I'm certainly glad that I didn't have to read his whole book for class in one night. However, that doesn't mean I am at all satisfied with introductions, especially the one at hand. I just wanted to read what it was failing to summarize eloquently and actually find out the content.