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Mix Tape: Literary Crimes

Andrew Scott responds to the “ladder-climbing” and “posturing” behind nasty reviews and other writer-on-writer crimes.

When an English professor wrote to Flannery O’Connor and asked her to explain one of her short stories, he deserved this response, which includes: “If teachers are in the habit of approaching a story as if it were a research problem for which any answer is believable so long as it is not obvious, then I think students will never learn to enjoy fiction. Too much interpretation is certainly worse than too little, and where feeling for a story is absent, theory will not supply it.”

Speaking of the dangers of too much interpretation, here’s a humorous look at how Emily Dickinson may have fared in a writing workshop.

Seven words you’re probably misusing—from simplistic to desserts.

A crime against books…or just culture “fading back into nature”? Check out these photos of what happens when an installation in Quebec—a garden with walls made of 40,000 books and wood plates—starts to decay.

A Yahoo Answers user asks for a “complete review” of a book, “including everything important”—since he just doesn’t have the time to complete the summer reading before high school starts again—and is surprised when the responder is the author himself. Ouch.

Heinous font crime: Comic Sans meets hard science.