Congressional Testimony as Literary Genre

What the hell is going on in Washington? (Other than a gang of thugs breaking into Arnold Kling's house.) It's hard to know, exactly. Dig into the primary sources and you find congressional testimonies near impenetrable.

There's a phrase for this, actually: oracular obscurity. Permit literary critic Harold Bloom to describe:

"Oracular obscurity combines the spoken traditions of Homer and Shakespeare with the writing style of postwar French pomposité grandiloquente and just a dash of Latin American magic realism to produce an entirely new phenomenon that has reinvented congressional testimony as a literary genre."

Hat tip to Alan Greenspan for inspiring this phrase.

3 Responses to Congressional Testimony as Literary Genre

  1. Glenn says:

    A public policy class that I am in actually explored “vagueness” as a technique in politics.

    Inefficiency, costs, and worries about America’s future aside, one cannot help but admire the practice and refinement that must go into such vagueness.

    Reply
  2. Nat Almirall says:

    I don’t think there’s very much Bloom doesn’t attribute to the spoken traditions of Homer and Shakespeare combined with the writing style of postwar French pomposité grandiloquente and just a dash of Latin American magic realism.

    Reply
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