Author Topic: In the New Yorker...  (Read 914509 times)

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2180 on: September 12, 2019, 09:34:26 pm »
The Sept. 16 issue arrived in my mailbox today. I checked the TOC and went directly to Michael Shulman's article on fans. I enjoyed it.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2181 on: September 12, 2019, 10:56:48 pm »
Read that too, and later wondered if the "Stans" phenomenon was the precursor to the school mass killer phenomenon. They seem to have a lot in common.
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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2182 on: September 24, 2019, 02:10:52 pm »
Over lunch today, I read Janet Malcolm's article on the new biography of Susan Sontag. I note that Malcolm adhered to the old way of referring to her hypothetical interviewee by masculine pronouns.

Anybody ever read "Notes on Camp"?
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2183 on: September 24, 2019, 05:17:07 pm »


Anybody ever read "Notes on Camp"?


Probably chunks of it, but not the whole thing. Nor "Illness as Metaphor," nor "On Photography."

I resist people whose job description is "intellectual." And maybe I'm mischaracterizing, but I don't tend to like essays that muse abstractly on "big ideas." I like essays that imply big ideas through small particulars -- more Didion than Sontag. But that may be unfair to Sontag -- I should read at least one of hers first.




Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2184 on: September 24, 2019, 06:26:24 pm »
Probably chunks of it, but not the whole thing. Nor "Illness as Metaphor," nor "On Photography."

I resist people whose job description is "intellectual." And maybe I'm mischaracterizing, but I don't tend to like essays that muse abstractly on "big ideas." I like essays that imply big ideas through small particulars -- more Didion than Sontag. But that may be unfair to Sontag -- I should read at least one of hers first.

I wonder whether Sontag put "public intellectual" as her occupation on her tax returns?  ;D
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Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2185 on: September 24, 2019, 08:08:23 pm »
The article on Susan Sontag covered two or three books based on her diaries and writings that she sold to UCLA. One of the books was quite critical of her and the other was a little more charitable. The writings themselves were quite self-critical. Made me think of all the diaries and writings I have around the house. Should I have a bonfire? Maybe.

I have read "On Photography" and think of it almost every time I take a picture. She raised valid questions about how we live. Do we just consume experiences or do we actually live? What is it like to live anyway? I prefer storytelling as a way to find meaning; nevertheless, what Sontag said and wrote resonates far beyond her times. I also recently acquired The Volcano Lover and am planning to read it. I resist dismissing someone just because of some label that has been attached to them.
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2186 on: September 25, 2019, 08:59:01 am »
The writings themselves were quite self-critical. Made me think of all the diaries and writings I have around the house. Should I have a bonfire? Maybe.

Yeah, I'm sure SS would not be thrilled to know some of that stuff has been published. I wonder why David Rieff allowed it?

Quote
I also recently acquired The Volcano Lover and am planning to read it.

I read it long ago and liked it. I still recall the part about the differences between people who live in the north and people who live in the south. She was talking primarily about Europe, but also more generally and her points apply to the United States, too.

Quote
I resist dismissing someone just because of some label that has been attached to them.

Oh, you're right. I was being flippant. There are plenty of public intellectuals I like perfectly well and would go out of my way to read (as well as some I like but probably wouldn't read a whole book by  ;D). Ta-Nehesi Coates, Roxane Gay, Robert Wright, Laura Kipnis ...

I'm reading a book right now by a guy I'd consider a public intellectual: Yuval Noah Harari, an Israeli historian. The book, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, traces human evolution and cultural development from the time when humans were just another species on earth, through the agricultural revolution (which Harari considers the worst thing to have ever happened to humans) through the development of language and finally, gaining the ability to talk about ideas and abstractions. I read it just before bed, to relax, like one might settle in with a favorite mystery writer. Practically every page contains some fascinating idea that you might never have considered quite that way before but once you think about it makes perfect sense. And best of all, it has nothing to do with Donald Trump or any other disturbing current events  :laugh: !



Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2187 on: September 25, 2019, 12:04:18 pm »
Yeah, I'm sure SS would not be thrilled to know some of that stuff has been published. I wonder why David Rieff allowed it?

Maybe he had no right to prevent it. I was confused about that point. Malcolm says SS sold her papers to UCLA, so I wonder if that entitled her to name a literary executor or not, or if she could but didn't, or if UCLA held all rights to say yes or no to publication? Malcolm says, "Access to them was largely unrestricted," but does that mean all rights belong to the university?
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2188 on: September 25, 2019, 12:21:08 pm »
Maybe he had no right to prevent it. I was confused about that point. Malcolm says SS sold her papers to UCLA, so I wonder if that entitled her to name a literary executor or not, or if she could but didn't, or if UCLA held all rights to say yes or no to publication? Malcolm says, "Access to them was largely unrestricted," but does that mean all rights belong to the university?

Good questions.   ???


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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #2189 on: September 26, 2019, 01:13:53 pm »
Some articles are so well written that I find myself zipping through them even though I'm not interested in the subject. "Dr. Robot" by D. T. Max is such an article.
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