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Author Topic: The New Yorker - Discussion  (Read 72009 times)

Offline Ellen (tellyouwhat)

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The New Yorker - Discussion
« on: October 18, 2007, 04:04:48 PM »
This is the thread to discuss New Yorker articles, fiction, cover, cartoons, archives, the works!

For posterity, we should begin with these images, snagged from this week's Daily Sheet:



Lyle (Mooska) posted the following depiction of the cover, along with some captions that illustrate his wishful thinking:


BROKEBACK TO THE FUTURE:  Anniversary Edition




"I now pronounce you Jack and Ennis!"







JACK:  "Damn.  Ten years."

ENNIS:  "Ten years..."




What Does “E” Stand For, Anyway?

Thanks to gnash for this post and explanation of the “E” in “E. Annie Proulx.”  And the interesting tidbit that BBM is Annie’s first story published as just “Annie” – a simple act of authentic living that, in hindsight, seems significant.


« Last Edit: December 06, 2007, 09:45:50 PM by BrokenOkie »
sometimes I think life is just a rodeo the trick is to ride and make it 'til the bell --john fogerty

Offline mountain boy

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Re: New Yorker Discussion Thread
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2007, 04:43:03 PM »
omg what a great idea!!!  Somewhat ironically, one of the New Yorker articles that really stuck with me was about "Jake leg."

Back in the 30s, there was a liquor from Jamaica nicknamed Jake... It was 85% alcohol but legal only as a medicine. Under Prohibition, it was required to contain enough ginger flavor that it was unpleasant to drink in large quantities. Somebody discovered that if they added a chemical (made by Kodak), the flavor became tolerable. It was sold at drug stores.

Unfortunately, this chemical was extremely toxic to the anterior horn cells of the lower spinal cord that govern the muscles of the legs. People who happened to get a contaminated bottle of the drink woke up crippled the next day and never recovered proper use of their legs.

As many as 50,000 people were affected by this condition in the 6 months before the cause was identified.

There was nothing wrong with the drink itself (except that it was illegal). It was the additive used to mask the taste required under Prohibition that caused the problem.

Scary.   :-\

edited a bit based on this article
« Last Edit: October 18, 2007, 06:36:25 PM by mountain boy »

Offline Ellen (tellyouwhat)

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Re: New Yorker Discussion Thread
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2007, 06:07:00 PM »
MB this is an idea that Rosewood and I have been kicking around, and she PM'd me again about it today, so I just decided to go with it.  :)

Is that Jake drink from a recent mag or in the past? 

One problem I have w/NYrs is that I get so fascinated but sometimes I get behind, so maybe I will be finishing August right alongside with last week's.

So a bit of business -- all New Yorker topics, no matter how old, are on-topic here -- AND when we bring up an article or whatever, we should try and date it to the best of our ability.

either with it's true date, or "within the last six months" or whatever.

sometimes I think life is just a rodeo the trick is to ride and make it 'til the bell --john fogerty

Offline mountain boy

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Re: New Yorker Discussion Thread
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2007, 06:23:21 PM »
Here we go: September 15, 2003

Offline CANSTANDIT

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Re: New Yorker Discussion Thread
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2007, 07:01:14 PM »
OH, this is awesome...I've read some great short fic in the New Yawkuh recently; and I enjoy the captions immensely.

Tx for setting this up!

Offline Ellen (tellyouwhat)

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Re: New Yorker Discussion Thread
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2007, 09:33:24 PM »
"The Treasury Department's Bureau of Prohibition soon identified a surprising chemical in it: tri-ortho cresyl phosphate (TOCP), a plasticizer. Describes why bootleggers used TOCP in jake. The investigation led to Harry Gross and Max Reisman, of Hub Products, who shipped jake around the country in big barrels. Tells how they came up with the idea of using TOCP in jake to supplement the castor oil, and asked their chemical suppliers, Martin Swanson, for help. Swanson supplied them with Lindol, the Celluloid Corporation's trade name for TOCP."



EEEEEWWWW - the new slang -- want to get plasticized?

 :P
sometimes I think life is just a rodeo the trick is to ride and make it 'til the bell --john fogerty

Offline Ellen (tellyouwhat)

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Re: New Yorker Discussion Thread
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2007, 09:34:17 PM »
OH, this is awesome...I've read some great short fic in the New Yawkuh recently; and I enjoy the captions immensely.

Tx for setting this up!

welcome CSI  :)
sometimes I think life is just a rodeo the trick is to ride and make it 'til the bell --john fogerty

Offline Rosewood

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Re: New Yorker Discussion Thread
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2007, 10:08:23 PM »
About time one of our favorite magazines had its own thread. :)
Thanks Ellen!

Well, thought I'd bring up the current issue, which, as usual, has another GREAT cover
and a not very enthusiastic review of Ang Lee's new film LUST, CAUTION.
But we can't have everything.

The thing about the New Yorker is that it ALWAYS has advertisements of books that
seem just the sort of thing I'd like. One of my main reasons for reading it.
Not to mention the great cartoons - especially the dog ones, which I collect.
(I keep the covers too. At least, my favorite ones. I stick them in with my collection
of mag. pix and other ephemeral things of interest that might spark an idea for
a drawing.)

In fact, this issue has one of the funniest dog cartoons I've ever seen.
I laughed out loud. On page 69. Sorry, I can't do cut and copy thingys.
I can describe it though.
Guy comes home to find his apartment ransacked, his dog tied up with rope
from neck to toe, like a mummy.
Dog says to the guy standing in the half open doorway:
"Artie, they took my bowl."

Among many other things in this cartoon, which is delightfully drawn,
is the idea of a dog referring to its owner by his first name.
Artie.
Perfect.
I mean, I had to laugh. This one's a keeper.

TNY seems to be the only mag around, besides, maybe, VANITY FAIR,
(though VF has more than its fair share of smugness which is sometimes
hard to take) that has all sorts of interesting things apropos of nothing but terrific writing
about all sorts of interesting things. Well, interesting to me, anyway.
And it does so in a very approachable way so you don't feel intimidated by the Weight of
the Heavy High Brow, if you know what I mean...

It's like having an erudite best friend who is always up on everything that you're interested
in, no matter how uniquely singular, and isn't shy about bringing it to your attention.
(But whether you pay attention or not is up to you. There's no HEY, OVER HERE!
about the TNY - another reason I love it.)

It very simply assumes that you wouldn't be reading if you weren't already interested
in things outside yourself. A very intelligent assumption.

And let's face it, there aren't many magazines around that are still featuring short fiction
pieces. Well, yes, there are, but they're not nearly as much fun to read as TNY.

Okay, enough gushing.  ;)

This current issue has a wonderful article about someone whom I confess I knew little
about: Jacques Barzun. His centennial is coming up and this is a lovely way to celebrate
the life of an unique man. I had heard his name, but knew little besides that he had
something to do with things literary.

An understatement if there ever was one.

My next move is to buy one of his books, probably FROM DAWN TO DECADENCE,
 a history ot Western civilization from 1500 to the present. Probably because I
like Barzun's contention that '...Western civilization is winding down, that "the
forms of art as of life seem exhausted." But, when Barzun insists that he sees
"the end of the high creative energies at work since the Renaissance," his tone
is less that of someone appalled by what's happening than of someone simply
recording the ocean currents.'

'Barzun entered Columbia at fifteen...He majored in history, reviewed theater
for the daily Spectator, edited the monthly literary magazine, became the
president of the Philolexian Society, and, together with his friend Wendell Hertig
Taylor, kept a running tally of every mystery book that came along. Their brief
descriptions, scribbled on three-by-five inch index cards, eventually coalesced
into "A Catalogue of Crime," one of the foremost reference works in the
mystery/suspense genre. He also managed to graduate as valedictorian of his
class, a feat he considers less impressive than having written the 1928 Varsity
Show, "Zuleika, or the Sultan Insulted."

How could you not find a man like this interesting?? I ask you.
"The Sultan Insulted."
Sometimes you just have to shake your head.
A man with intellect who makes you laugh.
Irresistable. No wonder he's been married three times.

This longish article written by Arthur Krystal and accompanied by
an illustration which didn't dawn on me until I saw it again today
is a 'take' on a scene from CITIZEN KANE, is wonderfully
written and makes Barzun seem like one of the most interesting
literary men who ever lived.

'Barzun wanted to do on the page what he did in the classroom:
help the reader "carry in his head something more than the unexamined
history of his own life," not because knowledge is inherently good or
makes one a better person but because it fosters an independence
of mind.'

Barzun's achievements are staggering and his knowledge and reputation
is such that it amazes me that I've only ever vaguely heard of him.
I mean, he knew EVERYONE who was ANYONE on the literary scene
both here and in Europe for the last, oh, 85 years and he's still
going relatively strong approaching his hundreth year. He formulated
intelligent ideas when formulating ideas was still looked upon as a good
and enviable thing to do.

Besides the Barzun bonanza, there's also an intriguing article by Adam
Gopnick, titled THE CORRECTIONS.
All about 'abridgement, enrichment and the nature of art.'

'A British publisher has issued neatly cut versions of nineteenth
century classics.'

Remember the condensed books published by
the Readers Digest? (Still being done as far as I know.)

'What can be taken away from a book or movie, what can be added
to it, and what does it tell you about what we bring to both?'

There was also in a past issue which I will try and find and bring to your
specific attention, a terrific bio article on the British graffiti artist: Banksy.
That's how I discovered and fell in love with his work.

AND in that same issue, an article on the discovery of a kind of
prehistoric computer known by archeologists to exist but the
knowlege of which had somehow flown under the common radar.
Fascinating doesn't begin to cover it.

I mean, where else could you find this kind of stuff all together in
one place?

Long live The New Yorker!!

And I promise not to run this long in future posts.
But this is my first here and I just felt like it. :D




















"Tut, tut, child," said the Duchess.
"Everything's got a moral if only you can find it."
                                                  Lewis Carroll

Offline Ellen (tellyouwhat)

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Re: New Yorker Discussion Thread
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2007, 11:37:20 AM »
erudite best friend!  that is a great description of the mag.

I don't think i have the latest issue yet.  It must be routed through Homeland Security before it gets to TX.  >:(

I have to read your post again.
sometimes I think life is just a rodeo the trick is to ride and make it 'til the bell --john fogerty

Offline Rosewood

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Re: New Yorker Discussion Thread
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2007, 06:11:53 PM »
A short story not to be missed is in the October 15th, 2007, issue.

SIN DOLOR by T. Coraghessan Boyle

(title translates to: Without Pain)

I found it readable, instantly affecting and exactly what a short story should be.
Would make a terrific, though downbeat, film. Have any of you read
this yet? Worth hunting down.

Also in the same issue is the review of the long anticipated new novel
by Pulitzer Prize winning author Richard Russo (one of my very favorites!)
entitled: BRIDGE OF SIGHS. A book I simply can't wait to read.

If any of you have read this author I'd like to talk a bit about him and
his unique style of saying everything about, seemingly, nothing much.



« Last Edit: October 20, 2007, 06:27:21 PM by Rosewood »
"Tut, tut, child," said the Duchess.
"Everything's got a moral if only you can find it."
                                                  Lewis Carroll

Offline CANSTANDIT

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Re: New Yorker Discussion Thread
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2007, 07:23:06 PM »
oh, I am going to go back and reread, or read for the first time, these stories we are noting..

Does anyone recall the one about, "Mr. Bones" in the Sept 17th issue, by Paul Theroux??

I just found out my subscr had lapsed while I was moving, and I may not get the next issue until Nov 5th!!!!!!!!!!   So I'll be useless for the next two weeks, unless, they have a change of heart and treat me merifully since I paid it up last week....

Offline Rosewood

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Re: New Yorker Discussion Thread
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2007, 11:42:29 AM »
The title sounds familiar, Jo.
I'm going to hunt around and see if I still have
the issue.

In the meantime I tracked down the May 14th issue, which
I purposely kept, not only because of its dynamite TRIPLE (!)
cover art work by Bruce McCall (The Ascent of Man),
but because, so far, I think it is the best New Yorker
this year. A simply amazing issue.

Here are the stats on a couple of pertinent pieces
mentioned on a previous post and NOT to  be missed.

Page 54
Dept of Popular Culture
BANKSY WAS HERE
Graffiti art's invisible man.
(My personal intro to Banksy, a man for all seasons.)

Page 94
Dept. of Archeology
Fragmentary Knowledge
THE MYSTERY OF THE ANTIKYTHERA MECHANISM
(This is the one about the discovery of an ancient
'computer'- like artifact. Mind-boggling.)

AND in fiction (page 138) the marvelous
short story is HANWELL SENIOR by Zadie Smith.
(Had never read her before and this was a perfect
introduction.)

Other good things in this issue, but these were my three
favorites.







"Tut, tut, child," said the Duchess.
"Everything's got a moral if only you can find it."
                                                  Lewis Carroll

Offline Ellen (tellyouwhat)

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Re: New Yorker Discussion Thread
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2007, 02:19:06 PM »
I read Mr Bones, Jo -- comments?

Rosewood, I finished "Sin Dolor" yesterday.  Comments?

My favorite in recent months was "How was it to be Dead" by Richard Ford.  Unfortunately back in August 26-- some time ago.

I'm working on TDS so not much time to post but I'll be back later.
sometimes I think life is just a rodeo the trick is to ride and make it 'til the bell --john fogerty

Offline CANSTANDIT

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Re: New Yorker Discussion Thread
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2007, 02:33:45 PM »
I read Mr Bones, Jo -- comments?

Rosewood, I finished "Sin Dolor" yesterday.  Comments?

My favorite in recent months was "How was it to be Dead" by Richard Ford.  Unfortunately back in August 26-- some time ago.

I'm working on TDS so not much time to post but I'll be back later.
Hi, ellen..oh, good.....I thought it was a bit haunting, the coping mechanism and what it brought out in the father...Do you see it as something he did to move to ,nother level of growth? or do you see it as symptomatic of something he kept buried? It was a disturbing little story, wasn't it? I feel like the author was saying what we all really are inside is sacrificed, often, to convention.

Offline Ellen (tellyouwhat)

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Re: New Yorker Discussion Thread
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2007, 04:30:43 PM »
CSI, most fascinating for me was how the persona of Mr. Bones was able to accomplish what he could not as himself.  Hiding (but not hiding) behind that persona, he was able to stand up to his wife, and his kids too, and to exert his will on them (go to college, etc.)

The jokes he told -- amazing he had one for every situation, were biting and cruelly told the truth -- especially to his wife. 

Some people live that way, of course, always joking, but also saying hurtful things that way.

I didn't quite get the end though.  I was surprised that when he was done with the show, he was done with the character, and it never came up again.  They never mention the birth of the child, or any change in the relationship between the mother and father.

I guess the point is the narrators' reminiscence about a time when she remembers vividly about her father -- although she says in the beginning of the story she has trouble remembering him since he died.
sometimes I think life is just a rodeo the trick is to ride and make it 'til the bell --john fogerty