Spivak works in the interstices to tease out what has been left out in ideas, in cultures, in histories, in language.
Many people apparently are maddened by her methods because there is no easy "method" to be extracted from her work. Her style is an antithesis to traditional "methods". The only real tool a theorist or critic has is intelligence and that quality is not easily described and perhaps not directly transmittable, especially when the kind of intelligence in question has no precedent and must thus inscribe itself into the language for the first time.
It's sad that someone of Spivak's obvious (too obvious) learning can be coddled by her friends in academia into thinking this book is publishable. One of its biggest problems is style. Surely the greatest virtue of any style is the presentation of complex material in as clear and economical a way possible. Instead a jargon-heavy and convoluted approach which might as well be lifted from a translation of Foucault makes her sound like an undergraduate over-eager to impress her new supervisor. Nobody who takes scholarship seriously can deny the central importance of style to a book's quality of argument. Someone as self-indulgent as this has obviously fallen for her own publicity - another worrying feature of this book is the leading scholars who have gathered round to applaud it - which has implications for her level of argument as well. Again and again she shows herself uninterested in politics or history except as concepts she can put through her (well-memorised, but otherwise unremarkable) post-deconstructionist grinder. Best-student-in-the-class stuff: a good learner but trying too hard.
This book is worrying. Thank god for that most unexpected dissenting voice, Terry Eagleton.