Franz Kafka’s Facebook Status

“A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.”

(Found at Kafka’s Facebook Page.)

Beaten With Her Own Shinbone! (Six Famous Writers Diss Jane Austen)

When it comes to Pride & Prejudice, these six apparently take pride in their prejudice

“Why do you like Miss Austen so very much? I am puzzled on that point…no glance of a bright, vivid physiognomy, no open country, no fresh air, no blue hill, no bonny beck. I should hardly like to live with her ladies and gentlemen in their elegant but confined houses.” ~ Charlotte Bronte

“What calm lives they had, those people! No worries about the French Revolution or the crashing struggle of the Napoleonic Wars. Only manners controlling natural passion as far as they could, together with cultural explanations of any mischances.” ~Winston Churchill

“…vulgar in tone, sterile in artistic invention…without genius, wit or knowledge of the world. Never was life so pinched and so narrow. Suicide is more respectable.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I’d give all she ever wrote for half what the Brontës wrote.” ~Virginia Woolf

“[T]his old maid typifies ‘personality’ instead of character, the sharp knowing in apartness instead of togetherness, and she is, to my feeling, English in the bad, mean snobbish sense of the word.” ~D. H. Lawrence

“[H]er 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 beat her over the skull with her own shin bone!” ~Mark Twain

(All quotes found at Mental Floss.)

“These people are not good enough…”

It’s my impression that you could get rid of half of most of these books. These people are not good enough to be this long, but they’re apparently also not good enough to be shorter.

~Fran Liebowitz, on editing

(Found at Alec Nevala Lee.)

Every book review, said the anonymous document, must follow three rules:

1. The review must tell what the book is about.

2. The review must tell what the book’s author says about that thing the book is about.

3. The review must tell what the reviewer thinks about what the book’s author says about that thing the book is about.

Robert Pinsky first encountered these rules in the 1970s, when his employer gave him a photocopied style-sheet that also included everything an obedient, paid scribbler needed to know: quality of typewriter ribbon required; size of margins; where to double-space, use italics, all-caps, or quotation marks; and where to put the reviewer’s byline.

“If this template is not actually Aristotelian,” writes Pinsky (of the three rules–not the ribbon, margins, and bylines), “it has that philosopher’s breathtaking plainness and penetration. To sneer at it as obvious would be a mistake. Even the clunky or stammering expression of the three rules (‘what the reviewer thinks about what the author says about that thing the book is about’) works as a hammer, driving home the essential principles and their distinctly separate, yet profoundly interrelated nature.”

(Found at Slate’s Culturebox.)

“onions, onions) onions. ‘Onions,'”

Munch on this sentence from Anthony Burgess’s novel Enderby Outside. (Four onions in a row!)

Then, instead of expensive mouthwash, he had breathed on Hogg-Enderby, bafflingly (for no banquet would serve, because of the known redolence of onions, onions) onions. ‘Onions,’ said Hogg.

(Found at Futility Closet.)

Ender Wiggin, Harry Potter. Harry Potter, Ender Wiggin.

“[A] young boy growing up in an oppressive family situation…suddenly learns that he is one of a special class of children with special abilities, who are to be educated in a remote training facility where student life is dominated by an intense game played by teams flying in midair, at which said boy turns out to be exceptionally talented. He then trains other youngsters in unauthorized extra sessions, which enrages his enemies, who attack him. He is given special guidance by an older man of legendary accomplishments who previously kept the enemy at bay. Eventually the boy-hero goes on to become the crucial figure in a struggle against an unseen enemy who threatens the whole world.”

(Quote found at Fabulous Realms.)