In his fourth—and final—column for The National Post, Jason Guriel recommends four collections of criticism that influenced The Pigheaded Soul. First up, The Portable Dorothy Parker:
A member of the Algonquin Round Table, around which New York’s wits famously assembled, Parker knew what we, in the Epoch of Likes and Follows, would like to forget: most of the art that wants our time is only going to waste it. Ruthless, maybe, but her devotion was to readers, not writers. “I tried, for my first duty is toward you…” she reports of one of her efforts to reckon with a book. “Unhappily, it was like counting those sheep over that fence; before I had listed the first hundred I was safely asleep.” Parker wakes you up.