Brandon Taylor at Literary Hub:
But here is the real reason I hate asterisks.
When I’m reading an article or an essay or a story, online, I’m immersed in its texture. I’m feeling the shape of its argument or narrative emerge. I’m utterly under the spell of the writer. And then along comes an asterisk. The asterisk pops me right out of the document. It sends me hurtling into space. And then, I come down on the other side. And what do I find? Surely, there must be some justification for the turbulence, for the violence of being thrust away from the text. No. What I find is the next, logical beat. What I find is the continuation of the previous scene. What I find is something joined so closely to the preceding body of the text, so like it in texture and rhythm and voice and tone as to be utterly indistinct from it. And then I wonder. I wonder why the need for the ejection and reentry? Why the need for the asterisk? Why not a double white space? Why the lightning bolt out of the blue?