It doesnt mean what you think it means

There is something exquisite about realising one's working definition of a word is wrong: shame at the mistake but pleasure in the word itself. Because shame embeds itself in the mind, so does the correct usage. The signifier itself is modified and the world shifts a little bit more sharply into focus.

For me, one of those words was ambivalent. I thought it meant 'meh'; indifference. Of course it means conflicting emotions, which are precisely what I have about After Theory. There are pages when I nod my head in agreement, smile broadly, emit an open-mouth 'ahhh' of new understanding. And there are pages, or more accurately sentences and paragraphs, where I shake my head and scowl. He's mentioned anti-theorists many times, and described their views and why they're wrong and/or stupid and/or philistines. But I have not read the name of a single anti-theorist, or the title of one of their papers or books. He wrote that animals don't have language therefore they're incapable of morals. According to what moral philosopher? This is not common knowledge, this is not established fact but he uses it as the basis for his continuing argument. This is weak scholarship.

So I'm ambivalent. And exasperated, because the bad stuff undermines the incredibly good stuff and the book feels as if it lurches from the sublime to the preposterous.