[This is the first bit of computer humor I ever submitted to Usenet, way back in 1983. I had only been using Unix for about a year and was mostly self-taught, so there are a couple of technical goofs (like the appropriate manpage section). I had lost any printed copy I had of this years ago, and only recovered it when Google made available their restored Usenet archive in late 2001. —DS]
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From: sdcatta!wa277
Date: Wed Jan 19 01:56:19 1983
Subject: litcrit (New UNIX program)
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Posted: Sat Jan 15 21:55:06 1983
Received: Wed Jan 19 01:56:19 1983


LITCRIT(7)          UNIX Programmer's Manual           LITCRIT(7)




NAME
     litcrit  -  perform standard interpretation of literary work

SYNOPSIS
     litcrit [-nMDlfgCp{name}] [-X] [-r]

DESCRIPTION
     Litcrit is used to produce professional-quality  interpreta-
     tions  of literary works.  Output produced is formatted with
     -ms macros following the style of the MLA Handbook.  Format-
     ting may be suppressed with the -X flag.

     Litcrit follows a heuristic hermeneutical program that  pro-
     duces  the  one  "correct" interpretation of the given text.
     If indeterminacy is desired random  interpretations  may  be
     generated  using  the  -r  flag.  This will also insure that
     several people using litcrit for class assignments will  not
     duplicate one another's work.

     -n    Standard  new  critical  interpretation.   Appropriate
          especially for beginning users.

     -M   Marxist interpretation (sophisticated).

     -D   Deconstructionist reading.  Generates a powerful decon-
          struction  of  the  given text using standard Derridean
          terminology.  Users should be aware of a major bug: in-
          terpretations  are occasionally incomprehensible to the
          C-shell and may cause sudden erasure of  entire  files,
          hangups, and other assorted problems.

     -l   Linguistic analysis.  Particularly useful  for  poetry.
          Generates an interpretation based on prosodic patterns,
          etymologies, metrics, etc.  Uses a loose variant  of  a
          Levi-Strauss/Jakobson program.

     -f   Feminist interpretation.

     -g   Gay interpretation.

     -C   Christian interpretation.  Generates for given text the
          appropriate Christ figure, redemptive pattern, and sym-
          bology.

     -p [name]
          Psychological  interpretation.   Generates  a   reading
          based  on  one of several available theoretical models.
          Current meaningful names are: Freud, Jung, Lacan, Erik-
          son.  (Can also be used as a makeshift therapeutic pro-
          gram with file that is transcript of dream or free  as-
          sociation.)

BUGS
     Current model understands only English.  (Unlike other  UNIX
     programs, however, litcrit utilizes the OED plus supplements
     as its dictionary base.  Inclusion  of  the  Bosworth-Toller
     Old English dictionary is projected for 1984.)

     Litcrit may not be able to  handle  certain  authors/genres.
     In  particular, avoid feeding it concrete poetry, post-post-
     modernist  anything,  Gertrude  Stein,  etc.   In  addition,
     Litcrit  will severely satirize authors whom it considers to
     be foo-bag biters.  Avoid Rod McKuen,  Kurt  Vonnegut,  John
     Irving, Erica Jong, etc.

     Finally, program was devised  by  two  assistant  professors
     (one  of English, one of Computer Science) at the University
     of Southern North Dakota.  You may wish to keep this in mind
     in evaluating potential for publication of articles which it
     generates.
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