When I was studying for my masters, I had to read a lot of literary theory. I instinctively recognised this for the soul-sucking intellectual scam that it actually was. Thereafter, whenever I was faced with some variation or mutation of ‘theory’ I would just mutter ‘French plot’ and smile, ignore it and move on.
Theory is what comes after practice.
Writers write, then theorists talk about it. Inventors invent, then theorists talk about it. People live, and then theorists talk about it.
Theory is talk, nothing more. It doesn’t create. It’s dry, barren; it is the opposite of experience. Literary theory in particular is parasitical, eventually it destroys the host. It survives by flattering the host, but it only survives if you believe in it, if you invest in it. Like the Emperor’s new clothes, you have to want to believe. You have to want to believe that the knowledge you have gained from the theory makes you special, identifies you as superior. And of course it doesn’t.
Literary theory is a narcissistic entity that seeks only to increase its own value and significance.
And, without exception, the only way to deal with narcissists is to walk away.