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Author Topic: The New Yorker - Discussion  (Read 71546 times)

Offline CANSTANDIT

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Re: New Yorker Discussion Thread
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2007, 04:36:21 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.

Yes, it was like a chapter in his life....I almost feel like it meant that he lost an internal battle-he gave in. Not sure. Maybe he won some sort of battle....I wonder at the growth of this personality, during the growth of the new baby in the mother....? Are we meant to connect the two? Its almost like with the decrepid house and the new baby, that he feels eternally trapped or something....

Tx. Now I am going to have to reread it.....shouldn't be hard, I couldn't put it down the first time. It is worthy of some sort of accolade, don't you think? I'll be back.

J

Offline Ellen (tellyouwhat)

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Re: New Yorker Discussion Thread
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2007, 04:38:57 PM »
It's a fabulous accolade to get a story in the New Yorker at all.  Very impressive.
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 #17 on: October 21, 2007, 04:43:15 PM »
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

True...gotta go. I will reread..this will be interesting, esp if anyone else has read it.

J

Offline Rosewood

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Re: New Yorker Discussion Thread
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2007, 05:11:14 PM »
In the short story, SIN DOLOR, I was grabbed immediately by
Boyle's story telling ability. (I've never read him before, I guess I'll
have to add him to my ever-growing list.) I can't quite describe what it is about
this particular style that I find so interesting, except that once I begin reading I
know right away I'm going to probably keep reading. Vague, I know.
Maybe it's that I find the style unpretentious and direct and it relieves me of having
to wonder what the hell the writer's REALLY talking about and do I want to bother
finding out. Life is short. Know what I mean?
Besides, I'm not, normally a 'short story person' so the thing's
gotta' grab me right away. This one did.

Also the subject matter, disturbing as it was, still
intrigued me.

The boy was an enigma. The story-teller was an enigma.
I could approach the relationship from several different directions and still
come up with a plausible explanation of events. (Yeah, I know, it sounds
like I'm going against everything I said in the first explanation of why I like
this story and writer, but actually, I'm not.)

I think the boy absorbed the hurts of the world.
Was he a Christ-like figure? No. Not really.
I think the story was too pragmatic.

The boy, after all, felt NO pain. Not the 'normal' kind
of pain, I mean. He felt. But not as we would suppose
him to 'feel'. Moreover, I think he UNDERSTOOD pain
better than most by being free NOT to focus on it.
Does that make any sense?

In the end,
I think the boy absorbed all he could and when he couldn't anymore
he decided to die. (When his heart was full.) When he explains how exactly
it is that he does FEEL, it is a moment quite worth the reading journey.

I'm thinking the story teller was unable, himself, to feel as deeply.
There was a kind of paradox in him. An ability to want to help,
and he did as much as he could, I suppose, but there was also
a stand-offishness caused, I think, by his natural disinclination to
want to make trouble. He had his standing in the town and a
living to make, after all. There was in him the utter stand-offishness
which many doctors have - must have - it is what keeps them
from collapsing under the weight of their patients' pain and
trouble, I expect.

There was also in him, the pity of a soulful man for the injustices
of life, mixed somehow with a kind of jealousy of the spirit.

In the end, the mystery of 'who was this boy?' isn't really
answered, except that he was in that place and time and seemed
to belong to his brute of a family to do with as they wished.

Why didn't he rebel?
Why couldn't he rebel?
Why did he submit?
This awaits further discussion.

I'm writing this off the top of my head, cause I'm running late
as usual and the story will have to be reread if I'm going to
discuss it any more deeply. For instance I can't remember the
names of the two main characters. Stuff like that.

What do you think Ellen?
With your fresher perspective.
Did you like the story?

Don't you think this would make for a dramatic film?
I could have seen the late Raul Julia in the role of the
doctor.

Oh, I seem to have run long again.
Well, can't be helped. ;)




"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 #19 on: October 21, 2007, 08:19:06 PM »
My fresher perspective?

Well I did only read it once, and that was yesterday!  :)

For me, the enigma was -- feeling no pain was actually a terrible liability to the boy, which ended in death.  In fact, if he knew suicide would not hurt, then why not?

In fact for many of us, is that not the question?

(fresh perspective)

but -- the narrator wants to aggrandize himself with this discovery, the genes of the boy who cannot feel pain, that this might somehow be a boon for him, though he is just the guy in town who is closest to understanding the science of the situation.  He might get his name published in a medical journal in North America.

But the father of the boy realizes that the doctor wants to profit from the relationship -- and so he decides, if anyone will profit, then HE will.  And so the circus tour begins.

It is abuse.  How interesting.  Abuse that doesn't hurt-- except, he says, he feels it in his heart.  Who would not, feel the disregard, the treatment of being a commodity for sale?

For the moment I am talked out -- the situation took the boy too soon, before anyone (father or doctor) could ultimately profit.  :'(

But certainly not the boy.
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 #20 on: October 21, 2007, 08:30:33 PM »
what issue was Sin Dolor in?

Offline Rosewood

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Re: New Yorker Discussion Thread
« Reply #21 on: October 22, 2007, 10:34:04 AM »
what issue was Sin Dolor in?

October 15, 2007
"Tut, tut, child," said the Duchess.
"Everything's got a moral if only you can find it."
                                                  Lewis Carroll

Offline Oregondoggie

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Re: New Yorker Discussion Thread
« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2007, 12:27:59 PM »
Anthony Lane reviews Ang Lee's "Lust, Caution" this week in The New Yorker (October 22, 2007)

Seems movie needs to be retitled "Lust, Caution, Boredom."  Oh well.

David Denby not left out either.  Has an article on the plight of modern movie stars "Fallen Idols...Have movie stars lost their magic?"

Guess one could conclude Heath Ledger is an actor.  Jake Gyllenhaal is a star.  (Love 'em both.)

Offline Rosewood

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Re: New Yorker Discussion Thread
« Reply #23 on: October 22, 2007, 03:14:05 PM »
Anthony Lane reviews Ang Lee's "Lust, Caution" this week in The New Yorker (October 22, 2007)

....Guess one could conclude Heath Ledger is an actor.  Jake Gyllenhaal is a star.  (Love 'em both.)

No, Larry, no, a thousand times no.
In my opinion there is NO division.

IF Heath Ledger is an actor, then Jake Gyllenhaal is as well.

They CARRIED BBM together. Try to imagine the film without one or the other.
Try to imagine the impact of the scenes in which JG carries the moment and pulls
the performance from HL. What is HL is reacting to in those intensely
personal/emotional scenes? An actor, any actor worth his or her salt, MUST have
something/someone to play off against. Action/reaction.

I was just thinking the other day how seemingly easy it is for JG, an uniquely handsome
man (in certain ways, almost too handsome) to disappear into his roles. When we see him
in a film, we see the character, not JG playing the character. That's the test, I think,
of a fine actor.

I was comparing some scenes from several of his films and realizing how Jack Twist was
long gone from his persona. This is a amazing talent to have. He is one of those really
good looking men who seems not to care if he appears not so good lookiing in a film if it will
better that film or the performance. Not that he doesn't know how to use his
looks, but he is not, as some STARS seem to be, in awe of himself.

Have you ever seen the Annie Liebowitz photo shoot for Vanity Fair that appears
on youtube? It is an amazing education in the way a man handles what is, essentially,
a camera fawning over him.  This piece of tape, more than anything else, made
me understand a bit more how truly professional JG is about his work.

I was comparing his appearances on Letterman and Conan and whatever -
the giggly schoolboy routine (loaded with charm nonetheless) that he puts on for those
shows (and which, I suspect, he hides behind just as HL hides behind a somewhat more
surly distancing 'attitude') with Jack Twist or the characters in his more recent films
and really, the guy you see on the night shows is someone who completely understands
what needs to be done to promote his films NOT someone who needs to be STAR.

In that way he is more understanding on the film business than Heath Ledger.
Perhaps because of his upbringing and his family business, which seems to be:
show business. So his natural acceptance of the razzle dazzle is totally understandable.

I remain in awe of both these men and their talent.
They are both Actors with a capital A.
If there IS any real difference, other than acting technique in general,
between them, it is that JG seems entirely more approachable than HL.
This can hardly be held against him.




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

Offline gnash

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Re: New Yorker Discussion Thread
« Reply #24 on: October 22, 2007, 03:29:52 PM »
oh, i just found out about this thread. yay! thanks for starting it, i love love love the magazine, mostly because of the artwork and cartoons. but of course, the short fiction too, and "news." it's probably the only magazine i'd subscribe to if i did such a thing!

i will post more shots of the BBM new yorker when i get home... those were taken at the castro event, btw, from the magazine so kindly brought for display by sid401k.

and also ellen let me say here, congrats on your column with the dallas morning news -- i just read that bit about it in TDS.  big hugs, and a hearty "GO ON GIRL!" sent your way!! :D :D


"Brokeback is about a lost paradise, an Eden."  Ang Lee


Offline Brokeback_1

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Re: New Yorker Discussion Thread
« Reply #25 on: October 22, 2007, 07:33:03 PM »
Very cool, didn't know this was started!

Does anyone else think the fiction at the New Yorker has sort of slid a bit since Tina Browne Left?
There was some open space between what he knew and what he tried to believe but nothing could be done about it, & if you can't fix it, you've got to stand it

Offline Ellen (tellyouwhat)

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Re: New Yorker Discussion Thread
« Reply #26 on: October 22, 2007, 08:36:03 PM »
gnash thanks for congrats, and others here in this thread, and Brokeback1 who was on the phone with me last week when I opened the e-mail from DMN.  wow.

Oregondoggie, I am currently reading the article by David Denby.  Finally my mag arrived TODAY.  >:( :( :)

Rosewood, I found a story by Zadie Smith from way back in May called Hanwell -- I think, or Brighton Beach or something like that.  Is that the one?

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 #27 on: October 22, 2007, 08:41:20 PM »
Very cool, didn't know this was started!

Does anyone else think the fiction at the New Yorker has sort of slid a bit since Tina Browne Left?


When did she leave?  Didn't the New Yorker win some wonderful award for the year BBM was published?

I have to say, there was a period when the stories were simply grossing me out, so I stopped reading them.  There was something about a waitress in a Chinese restaurant serving tainted food to her customers.  Another one about a waiter taking revenge on a couple by suggesting the mussels, which would make them sick.  Another one about someone eating tubers or something that began to grow inside.  I hate even to repeat these themes but I thought, this is not intellectual, it is not uplifting, I can't identify the climax in the story, and I certainly do not feel empathy for the protagonists.

So I stopped reading them for about six months.

Eventually, when I looked again, they seemed to have improved, and I am not sorry any more that I read most of the fiction now.
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 #28 on: October 22, 2007, 08:47:30 PM »
gnash thanks for congrats, and others here in this thread, and Brokeback1 who was on the phone with me last week when I opened the e-mail from DMN.  wow.

Oregondoggie, I am currently reading the article by David Denby.  Finally my mag arrived TODAY.  >:( :( :)

Rosewood, I found a story by Zadie Smith from way back in May called Hanwell -- I think, or Brighton Beach or something like that.  Is that the one?



Hanwell Senior, yes that's the one.
I loved it.
But if we're going to discuss I'd have to go back
and reread for details. (I plead old and decrepit memory!)

But I remember liking the style so much.
There's a rhythm to her writing that appeals to me.

Wait, wait, what's this about the Dallas Morning News?
How come nobody EVER tells me anything? :D :o



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

Offline mountain boy

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Re: New Yorker Discussion Thread
« Reply #29 on: October 23, 2007, 05:23:43 PM »
Fascinating piece in Oct 15 on consciousness in patients thought to be in a vegetative state. "Brain scans showed that one patient could imagine playing tennis"

When she was instructed to imagine playing tennis, a certain part of the brain would light up on the scan.

If a person can make a blip show up on a brain scan, maybe they could learn to use that to communicate at some level. e.g., if you recognize somebody visiting you, say hello by imagining playing tennis so that the scan lights up.

One beep for yes, two for no.