I WAS relieved that Lewis Wolpert does not assume that Alan Sokal's criticisms of French left-wing postmodernists were part of a right- wing conspiracy (Review, 8 March). Sokal, co-author of Impostures Intellectuelles, is - as Wolpert reports - concerned about "some weird goings on" in parts of academia. It is undoubtedly weird to proclaim, as Jacques Lacan does, that "it is thus that the erect male organ, not as itself, not even as the image, but as the missing part of the desired image is equal to the square root of -1 of the highest produced meaning". Weird puts it mildly. It would be funny if Lacan were not so influential. It is important that people do not assume that those like Lacan are the authentic voice of the left. There have been more than 15,000 contributions to the debate on the Internet site affaire Sokal.
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