I ASK MYSELF: if writing were an Olympic sport, who would be its 2014 gold medalist? Alas, we may never know. Of course, we are free to speculate, and that can be good fun. Would it be Mark Helprin? J.K. Rowling? The (help me out here) Fifty Shades of Grey person? Malcolm Gladwell?
IN THE present context, the metaphor may well be an anachronism; nonetheless, I will begin with bookends drawn from my personal relationship with Apple products. The computer on which I have typed the words you are reading is an Apple MacBook Air which I bought this week. The first piece I ever composed by means of the personal computer — an essay on metaphor in Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species — was typed over twenty years ago on an Apple II. I am no lover of computers, and even less a Mac enthusiast: and yet here I am a citizen of the Empire.