Sally Rooney on Theory Anxiety

There are many reasons to like Sally Rooney’s Conversations With Friends but the one I hadn’t expected was her depiction of theory anxiety:

I concluded that some kinds of reality have an unrealistic effect, which made me think of the theorist Jean Baudrillard, though I had never read his books and these were probably not the issues his writing addressed. (pg 28-29)

Afterwards I lay on my side with A Critique of Postcolonial Reason propped half-open on the pillow beside me. POCcasionally I lifted a finger to turn the page and allowed the heavy and confusing syntax to drift down through my eyes and my brain like fluid. I’m bettering myself, I thought. I’m going to become so smart that no one will understand me. (pg 94)

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2 Comments

  1. I think it was you a while ago…posted something about “impostor syndrome”. ?

    The other day I Was asking a friend of mine about his counseling work and he said most of the time he feels like an impostor. That somewhat often he get done with a group and he’ll feel like “you’re paying me for this?” Like he doesn’t know what the hell hes doing. Lol

    And my wife who is a doctoral candidate now. She said yes. Imposter syndrome is a real thing.

    And I like this writer who says “I’m gonna be be real smart so no one will understand me”. Lol. That’s me about my work. For sure. There is no reason I do it or write. Except that I feel I have to and it’s worth something. … somewhere. 😜

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