Critical Linking: March 26, 2012


“Maybe that kid with the fast fingers and the deep coat pockets hanging around the back of the bookstore couldn’t tell you what it is exactly, but there’s more to Jack Kerouac’s enduring appeal than his hitchhiking and alcoholic exploits. It’s got something to do with freedom; and it’s buried in those sentences.”

When you get older, On the Road becomes annoying. But if you can learn to love once more, you can be young again.


“So many writers I know start to shuffle their feet the moment it’s suggested they had help with their work. I don’t know why. I promise not to get too drearily undergraduate about this, but the fact is that most books do not spring forth fully-formed from the author’s forehead. And by that I do not mean that they are plaigiarized [sic]. I just mean: sometimes the input comes from an editor and sometimes it comes from a friend or a writing group.”

The simple and hard answer is that we think of writing as the expression of the self. So, if we feel like that expression has somehow been “polluted” by outside influence, it no longer seems authentic.


“Dystopian fiction is more popular than it has been in more than 50 years.”

Duh. We didn’t need dystopian novels before now. We had neo-conservatism.


“Let’s be clear here. No one is forcing people to give money. No one is forcing people to be backers. We presume that everyone is of sound mind and donating funds because they are financially capable of doing so. But at what point does the backer’s money move from charitable giving to an actual investment with an expected return?

I can’t tell if the trend of supporting writers on Kickstarter is a lifeboat for authors or a death rattle.

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