Critical Linking: The Most-Read Stories, August 25-30, 2013

Here are the most-read stories from the last week in Critical Linking:


Of all the characters, he is the one that I miss the most.

Rowling’s favorite Harry Potter character isn’t one of the big three. Surprised?


The desk faces the Alban Hills, the Apennines. The terrace, just beyond the doors, gives onto a sweep of time and space, from the Forum and the Palatine all the way to EUR, a neighborhood that Mussolini conceived. I see the Gasometro in Ostiense, the crooked ruins of the Baths of Caracalla, Jesus and the saints on the basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano.

Oh the crimes I would commit to have Jhumpa Lahiri’s office.


Seamus Heaney, Ireland’s first Nobel prize-winning poet since WB Yeats, has died aged 74 in hospital in Dublin after a short illness, his publisher announced this morning. Heaney won the Nobel prize for literature in 1995 and was celebrated for his many collections of poetry during his lifetime.

Always sad to see a great go, but boy did he stuff his years with beauty.


Then there’s All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque — the point at which I completely lost it. Sure, that’s his biggest hit — but Remarque was one of the bestselling novelists of the 1920s through 1940s, worldwide: as this convenient year-by-year listing of the top ten bestselling works of fiction in the US for the 20th century shows, The Road Backwas one of the bestselling titles of 1931, Arch of Triumph a top-ten seller in 1946. By any definition these were ‘hits’ — much bigger hits than some of the one-hit wonders they list, at least sales-wise.

Anytime the word “ultimate” is used in a post title, the author’s just asking for backlash.


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