CRITICAL LINKING: January 20, 2012

Our daily round-up of bookish links. Tastes great with coffee.


“Assisting young writers as they struggle to find a voice that feels like their own, a style that might imbue what they write with a sense of necessity and urgency, I am reminded of what a literary canon is, or was, and what purpose it served.”

One could argue that the more inter-connected the world gets, the more important learning the canon of your own culture becomes.


“Don’t worry about disappointments. Don’t worry about pleasures. Don’t worry about satisfactions.”

Sad, ironic, wistful: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s list of advice for his daughter.


“Each chapter had to be set in a different suburb, be strongly described, and be between 1,500 and 2,000 words. The only necessary linking element was the necklace introduced in the first chapter. Each subsequent chapter had to explain how the necklace got to be in a new suburb — given or sold, stolen or inherited, perhaps.”

Crowd-sourced novels seems interesting. The fate of a necklace in various Australian suburbs seems like a Mad Lib.


“But these facts amount to little more than inconsequential trivia when compared to the overriding question that the world is still asking: What was Salinger writing all of those years, and is it any good?”

There’s a good chance we will never know.


“I think technology has a neutral value at best; it could be used for good things or bad things. I think it fundamentally changes the situation of assimilation or participation in society. Because you can stay in touch daily with wherever you came from and you can listen to live broadcasts of radio stations or the prayers from the mosques or read daily newspapers, complete with obituaries online. I met a guy in St. Louis, a city that has the largest Bosnian population [in America], who, when he got nostalgic would get on the Web and watch snow fall in Sarajevo.”

Unsurprisingly, Aleksandar Hemon says some insightful things about immigrant writing. (Also, dibs on “Snow Fall in Sarajevo” as a short-story title)