Fact or Fiction: Smoking makes you look cool. According to Christopher Urban at The Paris Review, it’s an inarguable fact. Now at least let him defend himself. How cool does young Raymond Carver sound with his candy Lucky Strike?
Literary fame is a knotty thing. It’s hard to predict exactly who will be known for centuries, and why. William Wordsworth, for example, owes at least part of his fame to the Lake District, which started to use him in their tourist campaigns not long after his death. In The New Yorker, Joshua Rothman takes a look at H.J. Jackson’s Those Who Write for Immortality. Related: Gina Fattore’s recent essay on fame and money.