Critical Linking: March 2, 2013

The poem is signed “C Brontë” and dated 14 December 1829. It is written on a small slip of paper 3×3 inches in size and cannot be read easily without a magnifying glass.

And it’s apparently worth more than $60,000.


“In their own time, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Pushkin were not ‘classics,’ but just normal men. No one who picked up a copy of Dostoevsky’s Poor Folk would have guessed that he bore in hand a work by the future author of The Brothers Karamazov. We can only grasp this classic literature through its contemporariety.”

It’s impossible to know which authors will be held in high esteem in the future, but we can help steer public opinion.


Mo’s literary legacy offers a rare window into this larger cultural-political mission, and to judge him by his public actions neglects much that can be learned from his work, which traces China’s history of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

That’s a valid point. People still read, enjoy, and learn from Ender’s Game.


Borges concluded that the fact that fictional characters can read a book introduces the frightening possibility that we are characters, being read by someone else.

Borges’ take on the issue is more bothersome than the invasion of hermetically sealed worlds.

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