Critical Linking: February 8th, 2013


Of course Philip Roth was not the first writer to retire. Writers have been putting down their pens for many years. Here is a selective and thoroughly incomplete list of the ways half a dozen writers have retired — or tried to — with wildly varying degrees of success.

Retiring from writing seems to me quite different from retiring from publishing. I bet even if Roth never publishes again, he is still writing.


A Times source says NYT Junior would be targeted not at very young readers but at college students and twenty-somethings. The idea would be to offer them a limited-content version at a price point calibrated to a just-starting-out-in-life budget.

Might I suggest “Intern Edition” as the name?


It is impossible to post too often on the Twitter website. People follow people because they want to hear from them, hundreds if not thousands of times a day. It is your duty as a Twilt to post nearly constantly, and set up a great number of accounts on services that can post automatically even when you are busy sleeping. I unfollow anyone who doesn’t post at least twice a minute. It is especially important to post when you don’t have anything new to share. No one minds getting messages about old news, over and over again, for days.

I would laugh, but I have too much unfollowing to catch up on, now that I think of it.


But, passing those places, I still feel that phantom presence, the little lift of welcome that a bookstore offers a writer. Those places were like beacons, sending out signals, drawing me in. I still feel their presence, though now the stores don’t sell books, and no one inside them knows how a writer, walking past, might feel. It doesn’t matter. I know they were there.

I wonder, at the peak moment, how many bookstores there were in Manhattan.

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