I spent almost 2 hours trying to understand what did Alan Kirby mean by those 3 lines:

Filming your friends and putting the result on YouTube is so much more like writing a short story than it is like using a trouser-press that the rejection of a publishing jargon for a mechanistic one is unhelpful.

the term "trouser-press" and the syntax of the following sentence are totally incomprehensible for me. I know the direct meaning of "trouser-press", but could it be an idiom or a metaphor here?

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    The book you're reading is part of the so-called "postmodernist" movement. It actually calls itself a "challenge" to postmodernist theory. Be aware that most postmodernist writing uses language so idiosyncratic to its individual authors that the texts have no meaning that an ordinary reader can discern. Asking "could it be?" about any postmodernist work is pointless. Any of it could be anything. – user105719 Jan 3 at 6:32

Simplified, the structure of the sentence is: "X is so much more like A than it is like B that (as a result) rejecting [language pertaining to A] in favor of [language pertaining to B] is unhelpful," where A is the creation of art and B is a tedious, mechanical job. The author is saying that filming videos is like art and unlike using a machine.

Admittedly, "using a trouser-press" was probably not the most illustrative of comparisons that could have been made, nor is it any idiom that I'm aware of.

If the sentence is still unclear, let me know and I'll be happy to expand my answer.

  • Do you suppose this is a contrast with "printing press"? – user105719 Jan 3 at 6:32

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