Critical Linking: September 4th, 2013

But what exactly is the role of the library building in the modern city? Brian Gambles, project director at the Library of Birmingham, tells me it “must be inclusive, transparent and inviting – a public space in the city which is welcoming to all”. Above all, it must be a showcase for learning. Gesturing to the huge, wide-open space of the foyer, he says: “We need to make this a landing strip for people who may not be culturally attuned to using a public building.”

I like this guy and this library.


“The key thing about a book is that you lose yourself in the author’s world,” Bezos told the Post. “Great writers create an alternative world.”

Bezos went on to add, “But they suck at making money. And I’m all like ‘fine, I’ll just do that myself.'” (Not really).


The truth is that it’s hard enough to write and publish a novel without having to worry that the result of that immense effort will result in getting unfairly slimed and harassed by a pack of online bullies. It’s not hyperbole to say that there are talented authors out there looking at this landscape who will conclude it’s not worth it, and great books that won’t be published as a result of this culture if it continues.

This kind of stuff on Goodreads is nasty, but does it really scare people off writing books?


In an essay in the September issue of Harper’s, Jonathan Franzen quotes — at what he concedes is “embarrassing length” — from letters he sent to his fiancée when he was 22. “I recognize Pynchon as my major precursor,” the young, besotted Franzen wrote.

Ugh, remind me to read this essay on October Neverth, 20nowayteen.


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