what does the bolded part means?

An established New York critic admitted to me a certain amount of bitter envy, for when he was coming up in the ranks, there were no outlets in which to express his opinion, nor means of finding an audience short of landing a job as a critic.

Does it mean finding someone who thinks of being a critic as a job or finding an audience who pays for the criticism of a critic or something else?

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    It means "The only way he was going to find people to listen to what he had to say (i.e. get an audience) was to take a job as a critic (which, yes, is a job). If he didn't take a job as a critic, he was not going to ever get an audience." – Dan Bron Aug 28 '14 at 15:26
  • Right. X short of Y simply means: the only way to achieve X, will be, by "going all the way" to achieving Y. – Fattie Aug 28 '14 at 16:39
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    ("There'e no way to answer a question first around here, short of physically tying up Dan!") – Fattie Aug 28 '14 at 16:40

Short of in this case means other than or except for; the sentence says there were no means of finding an audience except for landing a job as a critic. From en.wiktionary, short of means “Except; without resorting to; up to the point of. [Eg:] He tried everything short of lending her the money himself”.

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    Yes; there can be a difference between 'except' and 'short of' (here, even more draconian measures than lending her the money himself are possible). – Edwin Ashworth Aug 28 '14 at 15:42

finding an audience means "being able to present his critiques to a group of people willing to listen to what he has to say".
short of means "besides".
landing a job means "being employed".


being able to present his critiques to a group of willing listeners besides being employed as an actual critic.

As it stands today, this is not entirely true, as anyone can just say whatever they want about practically anything on one's own web page or appropriate forum.

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