Critical Linking: December 2nd, 2013

 


If this is a joke, it is both clever and well-executed, but it makes a little too much sense to be a joke. Welcome to the future, kiddo.

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Over the past two weeks, Mr. Grunberg has spent several hours a day writing his novella, while a battery of sensors and cameras tracked his brain waves, heart rate, galvanic skin response (an electrical measure of emotional arousal) and facial expressions. Next fall, when the book is published, some 50 ordinary people in the Netherlands will read it under similarly controlled circumstances, sensors and all.

All this says to me is that we are just so uncomfortable with not being sure what exactly reading and writing do to and for us.

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It took a good 12-14 years, and many books, before the money became a happy factor of my writing career. If you think, my first novel was published back in 1986 and for that I had been given an advance of the grand sum of £200.

Ian Rankin on the reality of writing fiction for money.

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