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by E. M. Forster
Just before Forster’s novel I read Austerlitz, a book whose construction around a portentous negative space has the effect of drawing neighboring books into its central darkness, like a dying star. Everything becomes tinged with this darkness.
We lost great talents from every precinct of the literary world last year. Here is a highly selective compendium of the how they lived, when they died, and the books they left behind
This year, as I embarked on a novel, I became a kind of kleptomaniac, with all of the ghosts and voices and ideas from the books I’d just read haunting my attempts to put words on the page.
TV Tropes has swollen into a frighteningly comprehensive taxonomy of all known plot devices across all known media. As a writer, I find it impossible to browse it without feeling: how will anyone ever come up with anything new?
Complete with phonies, small things that men love about women, and the mid-1800s equivalent of bathroom graffiti, Middlemarch is a book that I think Holden Caulfield would have grudgingly found acceptable.