First appeared in The Guardian Too many academics have abandoned clarity and enthusiasm for cliquey obscurity Most readers of lit crit would doubtless agree that clear, persuasive, interesting writing is key. Why then are academics so intent on obfuscation? I recently found myself browsing and … Continue readingReadings to put you off Books
First appeared in The Guardian Helvetica’s clear, transparent appearance would seem to make it ideal for books. So why is it used so infrequently? I watched the documentary film ‘Helvetica‘ last night. It illustrates how ubiquitously this typeface lives in our visual culture, and argues … Continue readingWhy don’t Publishers use Helvetica?
Whatever else it is, the Communist Party Manifesto is the world’s greatest ad copy First appeared in The Guardian Several weeks ago in a Guardian blog post, Ben Myers suggested that copywriting is as valid a literary discipline as any, citing many writers who “have … Continue readingKarl Marx: Copywriter
First appeared in The Guardian Writing about sex is never easy, but if authors pay attention to the darker side of desire they’re in with a chance Freud called the human tendency to inflict and receive pain during sex “the most common and important of … Continue readingGreat Prose can make the Earth Move
First appeared in The Guardian The Booker prize should employ more critical rigour if it wants to avoid becoming the literary equivalent of American Idol If critic John Sutherland laments the wobbly status of newspaper-hosted lit-crit, Victoria Glendinning has just taken a club to the … Continue readingLet’s not Reduce the Booker to a Popularity Contest