Or, bits of loose mental fluff that were never enough to make a whole post by themselves:

The thing about obsolete tools for critical argument is that nobody ever bothers to box them up and put them away after acquiring a shiny new set. Instead, they’re left lying around out in public where untrained amateurs can pick them up and use them for god-knows-what.

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I’m not sure whether the Cult of the Western Canon is the result of the tendency of (mostly male) literary critics to turn everything into a dick-measuring contest an emergent property of the patriarchal nature of western institutions of higher learning, or the natural consequence of there only being room in a two-semester survey course for so many books.

(It’s always a bit unsettling to open a new edition of a familiar anthology textbook, and see which authors have been thrown out of the lifeboat in order to take aboard someone new.)

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There are times when I’m convinced that the only two states in the life of a freelancer are the state of too much work and the state of not enough money. What’s pure hell is when they both hit at the same time. Theoretical speculation suggests that the simultaneous state of too much money and not enough work must also exist; but I don’t know of any freelancer who’s ever actually achieved it.

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If you want characters to generate plot and conflict, they need to have shadows in them to hide stuff and angular bits to catch on things.