Critical Linking: October 23, 2012

But as I read Ringwald’s book, I found myself pondering literary fiction: as a genre, as a taxonomical category. When It Happens to You, you see, is a sterling example of literary fiction, if we were to consider literary fiction as a straightforward genre like romance or science fiction, with certain expected tropes and motifs.

Is literary fiction a genre? NO ONE CARES.


People who need to possess the physical copy of a book, not merely an electronic version, believe that the objects themselves are sacred. Some people may find this attitude baffling, arguing that books are merely objects that take up space. This is true, but so are Prague and your kids and the Sistine Chapel. Think it through, bozos.

I always forget that I can just get a digital version of my kid that replicates the experience of him exactly. I am such a bozo.


But his greatest influence as a science writer, Mr. Quammen insisted, was the seemingly unscientific William Faulkner, about whom he wrote both undergraduate and graduate school theses. Though few critics have been subtle enough to notice, he said, smiling, the structure of “Spillover” was as intricate as that of “Absalom, Absalom” or “Light in August.”

I never trust anyone who says, aloud to a reporter, how much like Faulkner they are.


Departmental records indicate Dr. Jones has taken more sabbaticals, sick time, personal days, conference allotments, and temporary leaves than all the other members of the department combined.

Tenure is hard to get, especially for whip-cracking archeological heart-throbs.

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