Critical Linking: November 15, 2014

jane austen covers

It’s more than two centuries since Sense and Sensibility was first published, in three austere volumes. Things have grown rather more colourful since, with heaving bosoms, gilt-embossed curlicues appealing to different decades and demographics.

200 years of Jane Austen covers? Don’t mind if I do!


As a result, sympathizers have hit back at Hale where they can, and this includes Goodreads. But do they have the right to review a book that they haven’t read, just because 1/27th of it belongs to a mortal enemy? After all, giving this book a negative review is not really a referendum on Hale — it’s not her book.

The Kathleen Hale-stalked-a-book-blogger debacle continues to make waves.


As a reviewer of books she would often pan, Virginia Woolf thought one of the pleasures of reading contemporary novels was that they forced you to exercise your judgment. There was no received opinion about a book. You had to decide for yourself whether it was good. The reflection immediately poses an intriguing semantic puzzle; if, on reading a book, you enjoy it, then presumably it is good, at least as far as you are concerned.

Interesting take on why we should read more contemporary literature.


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