Critical Linking: The Most Read Stories, August 20th – 25th, 2012

Here are the most popular stories from the last week in Critical Linking…


“She declared herself her favorite living author and Written on the Body the best book of the year. She upstaged other authors at readings. She showed up on the doorstep of a critic who gave her a bad review, leather-clad and ‘literally roaring,’ in Winterson’s own account. ‘About 1992 I should have had an operation to sew up my mouth, and kept it closed till about 1997,’ Winterson told the Guardian a few years ago. “

Jeanette Winterson may be so difficult to understand, writes Hannah Tennant-Moore, because she’s attempting to make the most difficult kind of art: Fiction that punches through an all-too-transparent grid of reality.


“Bookstores, authors and publishers are reaping the benefits of EL James’ increasingly popular erotic trilogy, 50 Shades of Grey.”

See if you can find the MacGuffin in this NYT On Video story


“It’s funny how with each book the suffering and the exaltation—the highs and the lows—are oddly distributed. There has to be both. It’s no good if you’re down all the time and it’s no good if you’re smugly typing away the whole time.”

In honor of his latest novel’s release, a Martin Amis interview.


“Contemplating the problem of how to deliver thick, quick-drying ink to a paper surface without requiring the ink to flow, Bíró saw a possible answer: closing the end of the pen instead of using a nib, leaving an opening with just enough room for a tiny metal ball that would spin against the ink in the reservoir, distributing it to the paper.”

The uncommon history behind the still very common ball-point pen.