A Margin of Error: Times Critic Publishes Idle Thoughts

Critics earn paychecks (small ones) because readers value (sort of) their expert opinions. But sometimes critics do self-important things. Sam Anderson, critic at large of The New York Times Magazine, just published his selected marginalia of 2011.

Mr. Anderson’s selected comments include such compelling insights as, on page 510 of Bleak House, by Charles Dickens, “LOL” and, on a line from Ann Carson’s poem “God’s Justice,” “LOL.”

On page 7 of The Luzhin Defense, by Vladimir Nabokov, Mr. Anderson writes, “Oh please sometimes I hate Nabok.”

“Oh please” indeed.