CRITICAL LINKING: January 11, 2012

Our daily round-up of bookish links. Tastes great with coffee.

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“The faster the world changes, the less familiar it feels, and the weirder it becomes, the more impossible the task of directly describing our experience of it. Instead, as generations of artists have done to explain the inexplicable, we reach for metaphors. In the 20th Century the metaphors of SF are perhaps the most powerful of all.”

Are you just going to sit there and take that Fantasy? Are ya?

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“Hatchet Job of the Year is a crusade against dullness, deference and lazy thinking. It rewards critics who have the courage to overturn received opinion, and who do so with style. Most of all, it is a public celebration of that most underpaid and undervalued form of journalism: the book review.”

As you might imagine, we like this.

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“Mr. Kirschenbaum has collected anecdotes about people writing poetry on mainframes, using the line-editing tools programmers normally used to debug code, before the invention of PCs in the 1970s. And he has heard from a former student of John Hersey, the author of “Hiroshima,” citing a Paris Review interview in which Hersey described retyping a novel he had written longhand into a mainframe computer at Yale in 1972, and revising it using an experimental interface created by a young engineer.”

Double nerds.

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“I do not disagree that we are witnessing some kind of tipping point with e-books. Something is going on but it is not clear yet what it will be. I recommend getting in the digital game but do not be too quick to declare the fate of literacy. We still read and write, all of us, every day. We still depend vitally on the knowledge contained in traditional books.”

This here digital stuff sounds pretty interesting.

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