Nicholson Baker is one of my favourite writers, in part, because of the way he sees intricacies in the mundane that are so easily glossed over. This speech about what it means to write about product design is pretty fun. I think.
There’s something a little compelling about people within a profession, whose focus is the written word, writing words about others within the profession. It’s why I perversely enjoy reading book reviews in peer reviewed journals. You always get the sense that one writer feels like they’re a little better at things than another. Here’s a collection of 30 writer v writer insults.
Mark Twain on Jane Austen is probably my favourite.
“I haven’t any right to criticize books, and I don’t do it except when I hate them. I often want to criticize Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can’t conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Every time I read ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ I want to dig her up and hit her over the skull with her own shin-bone.”
What an image, and what a shame that Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies wasn’t around in Twain’s day.