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acting to defeat its own purpose

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Neill is fine as the self-defeatingly rigid father, Krige moving as a woman whose warm maternal instincts battle against her own ingrained sense of racial propriety.
Despite itself, and in an unforeseen way, perhaps this collection does achieve its aims, as it provides a snapshot of the 'creole continuum' of current critical thinking on the francophone Caribbean: at one end persists the self-defeatingly nostalgic, unreflective celebrations of all things Caribbean; at the other, a few cutting-edge researchers revitalize the area as they lay to rest the old myths; while the rest of us hover at various points in between.
I very much respect Richard Kostelanetz as a poet and critic and also believe that Edward Said's weaknesses and failures need public scrutiny, but Kostelanetz ("Edward Said Remembered," FI, April/May 2004) only manages to be self-defeatingly intemperate and injudicious.
A single- minded focus, then, may be dangerously, self-defeatingly narrow, and when the end is seen as justifying the means, the means may sabotage the end.
But my long experience with thousands of clients convinces me that people who are biologically eminently disturbable will often think, feel, and act self-defeatingly no matter how favorable their early and later environments.
It is precisely this sense of human solidarity that Latimer self-defeatingly refuses at the end.
While its pages of interminable description might seem self-defeatingly dense, this book still has much to offer those who are prepared to look for the woods of wisdom concealed among its innumerable trees.
But for the respectable, rational, dissenting middle classes Blake's writing was dangerously enthusiastical while for his fellow artisans Blake's rhetorical strategies were self-defeatingly dense.
Almost self-defeatingly, Grotz then goes on to explain the techniques for faking antiques.
It is self-defeatingly bad economics and politics--and the wrong moment for Democrats to repudiate a policy that is working.
Lush" is a quirky, off-center, picaresque tale with a self-defeatingly disdainful attitude toward audience involvement in story or character.