Critical Linking: July 14, 2012

These two books are not only masterly examples of the history of ideas, elucidating complex thoughts from a staggering range of primary sources. Together, they offer a window on the evolution of the modern mind, as seen at one of its most dramatic moments; they help explain why we think and feel the way we do about art, genius, religion, and history.

The two books in question? Only two of the most loved (and loathed) books of any English major.

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‘Shirley Jackson was like Sylvia Plath with a sense of humor.’

Well, that makes you sound really smart, doesn’t it?

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I’ll admit I am nostalgic about the smell and look of book covers, but I can’t argue against the environmental benefits of paperless publishing.

Because people spend too much time thinking about what is lost with an eBook and not enough thinking about what is gained.

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The best storytellers meet their audiences halfway, engaging them, pushing them, and calibrating their emotions while also leaving room for listeners to bring their own feelings and experiences into the act of listening.

And the worst storytellers leave nothing to the imagination.

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