• strict warning: Declaration of FeedsImporter::copy() should be compatible with FeedsConfigurable::copy(FeedsConfigurable $configurable) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/includes/FeedsImporter.inc on line 94.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsNodeProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsNodeProcessor.inc on line 319.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsNodeProcessor::setTargetElement() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::setTargetElement(&$target_item, $target_element, $value) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsNodeProcessor.inc on line 319.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsFeedNodeProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsFeedNodeProcessor.inc on line 227.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsFeedNodeProcessor::setTargetElement() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::setTargetElement(&$target_item, $target_element, $value) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsFeedNodeProcessor.inc on line 227.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsUserProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsUserProcessor.inc on line 195.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • You must include at least one positive keyword with 3 characters or more.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_display::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_display.inc on line 1877.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_display_block::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin_display::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_display_block.inc on line 193.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_field.inc on line 641.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 82.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 585.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 585.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 609.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 128.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 25.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of content_handler_field::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/cck/includes/views/handlers/content_handler_field.inc on line 208.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 745.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 770.

Guest Post by Reamy Jansen: Go, Little Booke: Musings on the Nature of Smallness

Given some of my current reading on work, craftsmanship and the fashioning of identity, my attention was caught a few weeks ago by the peculiar treatment of books whose length numbered somewhere around two-hundred plus pages. Volumes of around 250 pages or even more—248, 264, 269, and one even as high up as 288--were being introduced by adjectives on the order of “small” and “little.” Was this some form of condescension? Certainly, I thought so when the usage was fitted out in a description of our blue Victorian domicile. Your little house, said our next-door neighbor, treating each consonant in little lovingly.

What’s up with “little”? And just what sort of thing might a “little” book be? Does size matter? Certainly only in relation to a volume’s wholeness, one might think. Too long, it seems, should be a no brainer, for how often have we whispered Macaulay’s dictum, “Must a man miss dinner for this?” as we look longingly ahead to page 833—The End.

Isn’t a critic is talking down, patting the dear old thing on the head—“and how is our small, precious book today?” Is it a form of affection? Relief some other poor schnook has to review Tim LaHaye or the novel that Glenn Beck has just extruded for our pleasure? (As a writer, I confess to being utterly page conscious, even since high school—is my paper, essay, elegy, epic poem, dissertation long enough?)

Let me, then, offer my totally scientific sample of six recent New York Times reviews—I wrote this wearing my “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on tv” white lab coat:

1. “Though relatively slender.” "The Ninth, Beethoven and the World in 1824" by Harvey Sachs, reviewed by Anthony Tommassini, June 17. 212 pages.

2. “This short new book…this lean book.” "The Korean War" by Bruce Cummings, reviewed by Dwight Garner, July 21. 288 pages.

3. “Mr. Kumar’s book isn’t especially long.” "A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm a Tiny Bomb" by Amitava Kumar, reviewed by Dwight Garner, the Times impressive maid of all work, August 6. 217 pages.

4. “The book should have been longer…But in its cheerful, compact form it still offers….” So says Mark Oppenheimer of Ptolemy Tompkins’ "The Divine Life of Animals," July 13. 243 pages.

5. “Mr. Swift’s small but ardent book…” "Bomber Country" by Daniel Swift, reviewed by Dwight Garner, Sept. 1. 269 pages.

6. “The tidy feast that is this book…” "The Honor Code, How Moral Revolutions Happen" by Kwame Anthony Appiah, yet another review by Dwight Garner, Sept. 15. 264 pages.

Of course, after my poor memoir of 105 pages, the literary version of a withered arm , I feel like a total punter. Still, it’s gotten good reviews. But it’s not long enough, of course, and no one’s called it “cheerful.” I felt as if I were missing out on something, and I have found what it is.

Luckily, I have the sociologist Richard Sennett to thank, especially if someone calls "Available Light" “dinky” or “mini.” In "The Craftsman" (Yale, 2008), which adroitly and artfully develops the simple grain of thought that “Making is Thinking,” and where midway in his chapter on “Material Consciousness,” Sennett’s definition of this broad term is rendered through the three stages of a process of “what makes an object interesting.” Stage three is “Anthropomorphosis,” with Sennett’s central example being the ancient craft of brick making, one where “their makers at a certain moment in history began to invest cooked lumps of clay with human qualities of an ethical sort—as in the ‘honesty’ of brick.”

Here, then, are the origins of these present-day humanizing modifiers--“lean,” “compact” and “tidy”—now being applied to books. To me, this is a heartening revelation expressive of our deep love of books, particularly as critics (of course, we’re unlikely to find such cozy terms in academic literary criticism). Whether we’ll apply these swaddling adjectives to books read on “Nook” or “Kindle” remains an open question, although I seriously doubt it. All honors, though, clearly are awarded to Mr. Garner. And, never fear, there’ll always be room for judgments on the order of Samuel Johnson’s verdict on "Paradise Lost": “None ever wished it longer than it is.”

Keyword tags:

dwight garner

"Write without pay until someone offers pay. If nobody offers within three years, the candidate may look upon this as a sign that sawing wood is what he was intended for"
Mark Twain

Random picks

  • With all of today’s technological improvements, how we market and sell services and products on the Internet, specifically in the IM niche, is always changing. Not that long ago, sales letters were composed mostly of text. Today’s sales letters utilize fancy graphics applications and top-notch copywriters. One newer type of sales letter is the video sales letter. As you can tell, it’s all too easy to be left in the dust by these types of advances. Rising public awareness of these evolving techniques makes our lives as internet marketers even harder since the average person...
  • I've updated the I'M BORED blog with¬†early sketches, pacing and advice for aspiring picture book writers.
  • The word Blogging Tory refers to any one of the various authors affiliated with the conservative Canadian community known as The Blogging Tories. Presently, there are over a hundred and fifty text-based weblogs associated with the group, and there are new Blogging Tories every day. The Tories stand as an motivating example of a successful online community where the ever-growing numbers of affiliated members enjoy a fertile environment for discussion and debate about the ideas that shape the face of Canada.
  • Quite a few people wonder what it means to blog and why it’s popular to do so. Read on to learn more about blog posting and what it can do for you. If you decide you want to become a blogger, the tips you’re about to read can help you be successful. Make your readers feel as if you are ever present for them. You should remember that your blog is important to many readers so address their comments regularly. Once you’ve gained your readers’ trust, they will want to contact you as well as read more of what you write. If you are contemplating abandoning the blog, keep...
  • Lots of people have welcomed ASP.NET blogging program with passion and with open arms. However, that doesn't mean that the ASP.NET program is right for everybody.

Recommended sites

Most recent titles

Fast fact about writing

The history of human communication dates back to the earliest era of humanity. Symbols were developed about 30,000 years ago, and writing about 7,000.