Critical Linking: October 31, 2012


“Facing a future where anyone can start typing their Twilight-inspired masturbation fantasies onto the Internet and suddenly become a multimillionaire, stalwart book publishing companies Penguin and Random House have decided to combine forces, becoming the largest consumer book publisher in the world.”

Nevermind the millions Random House made off said fantasies. Caught hairy-palmed!


“Marjorie Scardino, the outgoing chief executive of Pearson, added: “Together, the two publishers will be able to share a large part of their costs, to invest more for their author and reader constituencies and to be more adventurous in trying new models in this exciting, fast-moving world of digital books and digital readers.””

With greater size comes greater agility. That’s a new one.


“How often one reads a contemporary full-length novel and thinks quietly, mutinously, that it would have worked out better at half or a third the length. I suspect that many novelists clock up sixty thousand words after a year’s work and believe (wearily, perhaps) that they are only half way there. They are slaves to the giant, instead of masters of the form.”



“I wonder that we still bother to acknowledge some of the distinctions that still seem so important to the publishing sales force and the bookstore buyers and the talk-show hosts. Does it make any kind of sense to separate If I Die from The Things They Carried and even Going After Cacciato in the bookstore? Clearly, someone thinks we as readers care. I’d argue strenuously that we should not.”

Wait, publishing is supposed to make sense?

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