Steve Fuller, persevering exponent of “affirmative action” for “intelligent design” creationism, really let loose in his anti-eulogy for the recently deceased Norman Levitt. You have to read the comments over there, though they tend to be considerably blunter than I would be comfortable making.
I did end up leaving a comment there, though. I got to thinking about other famous examples of anti-eulogy, and the first association I had was Rufus Griswold, whose published notice of Edgar Allan Poe’s death started with, “Edgar Allan Poe is dead. He died in Baltimore the day before yesterday. This announcement will startle many, but few will be grieved by it.” The analogy seemed quite apropos.
Here’s my comment from over at Fuller’s weblog:
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Prof. Fuller appears to have selected for himself a role of Rufus Griswold, as Fuller has himself labored to achieve a legacy of “voluminous worthlessness” while railing at the dead.
Most of humanity labors to attain simple competence, and few can hope that they will be long remembered for their intellectual contributions. For Griswold, the reviewer appears to have had the word with staying power:
“What will be his fate? Forgotten, save only by those whom he has injured and insulted, he will sink into oblivion, without leaving a landmark to tell that he once existed; or if he is spoken of hereafter, he will be quoted as the unfaithful servant who abused his trust.”