Critical Linking: May 18, 2013
Our daily round-up of bookish links. Tastes great with coffee.
I thought I’d take a look at the SAT Subject Test in literature as a mini case study. I chose the Literature test because it’s a subject I’m supposed to know something about. After all, I have a B.A. and a PhD in English. I have spent the last 25 years thinking about, writing about, talking about, and teaching literature. A one-hour subject test designed to test high school students on their reading comprehension should be a cakewalk.
Well, I was wrong. Or, at least, the high number of incorrect answers on my answer sheet suggested that someone or something was wrong.
Of course she didn’t do well. She was taught how to think, not how to take a test.
Qworty has destructively edited the pages of other writers. He has made numerous edits to his own page while obsessively hiding his true identity. And yet there have never been any significant consequences for his actions. For those of us who love Wikipedia, the ramifications of the Qworty saga are not comforting: If Qworty has been allowed to run free for so long — sabotaging the “truth” however he sees fit, writing his own postmodern novel — how many others are also creating spiteful havoc under the hood, where no one is watching?
And this is why English teachers everywhere tell their students that Wikipedia is not a valid source for their research papers.
Do women writers get asked this more than male ones? Bet your buttons they do. The snaps and snails and puppy-dog’s tails are great for boys. The sugar and spice is still expected for girls. Up to a point.
No one is better than Atwood at a snappy comeback.
A brand new book and a pretty old one round out our reading week in Inbox/Outbox. What did you read this week?
What if it turns out that the romance books I’ve been enjoying are considered not-so-great by romance readers who, like, actually know things? Why do I even care what other readers think about a book, as long as I’m enjoying it? (Answer: because I am, for better or worse, somewhat invested in my identity as a Discerning Reader.) It seems to me that readerly enjoyment is a primary goal of romance writing anyway….so maybe I don’t need to think about the “is this a quote-unquote good book” issue at all and just go with what I enjoy? Is this an “If you build it, they will come” (hah! come!) kind of thing, and I just have to read more dirty books before I can answer these questions for myself? And if that’s the case, how will I learn how to make good romance recommendations for other readers?
The List List #57
This week’s List List is sponsored by Biographile.
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at The Hairpin, 10 Things That Happened While Reading THE WOMAN IN WHITE
at Terrible Minds, 25 Things You Should Know About Outlining
at Flavorwire, 10 Disappointing Film Adaptations of Classic American Novels
at The Guardian, Top 10 Books About Burma
at USA Today’s Pop Candy, 25 Favorite Books from the Last 25 Years
at PWxyz, 10 Biggest Book Adaptation Flops
at Flavorwire, 15 Books You Should Definitely Not Read in Your 20s
at The AV Club, 13 Surprising Celebrity Novels
If you like it, then you shoulda put a Jane Austen bangle on it. Or a beluga bookend! Get some in Book Fetish.