Critical Linking: November 14, 2012


“Green Apple’s floors, most of which are over a hundred years old, creak wherever you go, and when you walk upstairs, there will be small clouds of dust. The place is old, and smells old, in the best sense”

What other kind retail establishment BENEFITS from dust and creakiness? I mean besides Ollivander’s, obviously.


In the end, what makes a book valuable is not the paper it’s printed on, but the thousands of hours of work by dozens of people who are dedicated to creating the best possible reading experience for you.

That is incorrect. What makes a book valuable is the quality of the story and of the writing, no matter how many people worked on it for however long.


The most celebrated retirement is Shakespeare’s return to Stratford after the staging of The Tempest in 1611. In the play, he has Prospero speak, thrillingly, of resigning his powers as a magician. “This rough magic, I here abjure … And deeper than did ever plummet sound, I’ll drown my book.”

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you bow out.


Should we be free to burn Korans, mock the passionately held religions of others? Maybe we should – but should we also be surprised when the believers we have offended respond in fury? I couldn’t answer that question at the time and, with all good will, I still can’t. But I am a little proud, in retrospect, that I spoke against the easy trend, reckoning with the wrath of outraged western intellectuals, and suffering it in all its righteous glory. And if I met Salman tomorrow? I would warmly shake the hand of a brilliant fellow writer.

Le Carre and Rushdie bury the hatchet, or whatever they call it over there. Probably “splitter” or something.

Sign up to Today In Books to receive daily news and miscellany from the world of books
By signing up you agree to our Terms of Service
In a book lover’s life, there’s nothing as magical as a perfect, surprising recommendation from someone who just gets you. But finding those people can be tough! That’s where TBR comes in. Go here to find out more, or just click the image below: