"Writing is a skill, not a talent, and thus one's ability as a writer can be improved by thoughtful effort. The problem with some people is that they graduate college as good writers, experience early success on account of that, and thus never devote themselves diligently to the relentless quest for improvement that could make them great writers."
"Grad students in the humanities, who ought to be studying [history and literature], instead spend a lot of time reading 20th-century theorists whose long-term relevance is doubtful at best. The amount of reading time spent on theory rather than primary source texts is just way out of proportion to any possible use or importance that the theorists might have. Trotsky? Important. Foucault? Important to the academy. There's a difference. Isn't there a whiff of self-esteem-ism in declaring — to academics — the enduring importance of academics?"