Critical Linking: July 23, 2012


To get to the million-dollar mark for debut fiction this year, it apparently helps to have a female teenage protagonist.

Surprisingly unsurprising.


This Joyce is an epic figure tricked out in the costume of Chaplin’s tramp, the Joyce who happily acknowledged that he was more Leopold Bloom than Stephen Dedalus, and who assured anyone who would listen that he was a joker—a great joker, as he said—at the world’s expense.

Not sure I’ve ever read a more interesting review of a biography than this one by Banville.


In truth, most newspaper reviews, even in major publications, are glorified sales tips.



It’s a narrative Dewey Decimal System of sorts, where each character-type is given a letter: the man is A, the woman is B, their relatives, such as a father or mother, would be F-A or M-B, and anything mysterious, be it a stranger or a strange object, is given the designation X, that ultimate letter of mystery.

Gee, I wonder why Plotto didn’t catch on.

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