10 August 2009


I've been looking for a short name for the unwieldy "Multilingual Literary Criticism." What about polykrit? It is a portmanteau of polyglot and the Filipino word kritika for literary theory cum criticism. The big literary theories have a word that characterizes them, even if that word does not really encompass what the theory tries to do. For example, there is deconstruction, which is widely misunderstood but is used anyway to refer to all post-structuralism, Derridean or otherwise. There is gynocritique, which puts together the really quite different sexual politics, French feminism, and other forms of literary feminism. There is marxism, which Marxists who don't completely agree with Marx use to talk about all forms of Marxism after Althusser. There is the originally weird but now universally accepted Englishes (or sometimes, english uncapitalized), standing for the struggle of Singlish, Taglish, etcetera-lish to put into its place American English or more usually British English (specifically, Received Pronunciation). I think I shall use polykrit from now on and see if it catches on.


  1. I'm a little uneasy with polykrit. It rhymes with hypocrite.

  2. Ha ha! Yes, I will look for a less risky word. Thank you.