Author Topic: In the New Yorker...  (Read 2193090 times)

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3410 on: September 14, 2023, 02:28:28 pm »
Nor I. Was never required, and never chose, to read either.

To me, what I know of Animal Farm doesn't make it really sound like something you'd read for fun.
"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 #3411 on: September 15, 2023, 11:58:47 am »
I liked the rat and giant squid articles. The homing pigeon article bored me.

And don't forget the sperm whale article! It's more upbeat than some of Kolbert's recent ones so you should give it a try. She describes the birth of a baby sperm whale!
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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3412 on: September 15, 2023, 01:01:08 pm »
I've barely gotten into "You've Been Served" (Sept. 11), and already I highly recommend it.

The author and the subject attorney name names.
"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 #3413 on: September 15, 2023, 01:25:50 pm »
To me, what I know of Animal Farm doesn't make it really sound like something you'd read for fun.

Why not? I mean, I only vaguely know the premise but as I understand it, the characters are all farm animals and it's a political allegory. Neither of those in and of itself seems a deal-breaker; after all I liked Charlotte's Web and The Handmaid's Tale (the latter of which probably isn't quite an allegory per se, but it's the only book that I've read that came to mind in the moment; maybe also A Clockwork Orange?).



Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3414 on: September 15, 2023, 03:13:46 pm »
Why not? I mean, I only vaguely know the premise but as I understand it, the characters are all farm animals and it's a political allegory. Neither of those in and of itself seems a deal-breaker.

That's it for me. I'm not interested in reading a political allegory for fun. Maybe it would be different if I didn't know it was a political allegory, but that bell was rung a long time ago.

Never read Charlotte's Web, either. Never even heard of it until I wasn't a kid anymore.
"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 #3415 on: September 15, 2023, 04:31:39 pm »
Never read Charlotte's Web, either. Never even heard of it until I wasn't a kid anymore.

Wow, I highly recommend that! It might not even be too late -- here we are on this thread celebrating the magazine E.B. White wrote for, after all!

I realize some beloved books are less appealing as you get older. I was kind of meh about To Kill a Mockingbird when I finally read it in my 40s. And I threw On the Road across the room in my 20s. But Charlotte's Web, though a children's book, might still work. It's fanciful and heartbreaking but not sappy.

Or maybe you could settle for E.B.'s essay "Death of a Pig." I've never read it, but I keep meaning to, and here's a link!

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1948/01/death-pig/309203/


Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3416 on: September 15, 2023, 09:00:57 pm »
I was kind of meh about To Kill a Mockingbird when I finally read it in my 40s.

Oh, not me. I was older than that when I finally read it. Maybe it had something to do with having seen the movie--and loving it--several times--as I read it I could hear the voice of the narrator in the film--but still.

I keep my copy near my collection of Bibles and prayer books. Not with them, but close by. It's sort of part of the decoration of my living room.
"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 #3417 on: September 16, 2023, 01:16:31 pm »
Oh, not me. I was older than that when I finally read it. Maybe it had something to do with having seen the movie--and loving it--several times--as I read it I could hear the voice of the narrator in the film--but still.

I keep my copy near my collection of Bibles and prayer books. Not with them, but close by. It's sort of part of the decoration of my living room.

Interesting! I should add that when I read it, I don't think I had (or have!) ever seen the movie, either, start to finish.

I have been somewhat interested in reading Go Tell a Watchman, considered essentially the first draft of TKAM. It's about a college girl visiting her small hometown from NYC and being shocked at the racism she finds, including Atticus'. I see some critics on Wikipedia say it's not very well written (plodding, bad dialogue), but it does sound like a more honest depiction of a small Southern town of that era. Apparently the publishers didn't think the reading public would go for that. [Ron DeSantis would approve of their decision, I can't resist adding, although TKAM is among the most widely banned books, which is crazy since it's also among the most widely taught in schools.]

I tend to think both resemble Lee's actual life and perspective, that TKAM is told through her eyes back when she was a child and revered her father, and GTAW is through her eyes as an adult facing unpleasant reality in her roots.



Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #3418 on: September 16, 2023, 08:38:27 pm »
Interesting! I should add that when I read it, I don't think I had (or have!) ever seen the movie, either, start to finish.

I need to add it to my video library. I don't know why I've never done that.  ???

Quote
I have been somewhat interested in reading Go Tell a Watchman, considered essentially the first draft of TKAM. It's about a college girl visiting her small hometown from NYC and being shocked at the racism she finds, including Atticus'. I see some critics on Wikipedia say it's not very well written (plodding, bad dialogue), but it does sound like a more honest depiction of a small Southern town of that era. Apparently the publishers didn't think the reading public would go for that. [Ron DeSantis would approve of their decision, I can't resist adding, although TKAM is among the most widely banned books, which is crazy since it's also among the most widely taught in schools.

I remember reading those criticisms when the book came out. I didn't know about the banning.
"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 #3419 on: September 18, 2023, 10:27:10 am »
I visited an old friend from high school on my trip to Switzerland and we had the chance to talk about the books we had studied together in AP English. After all these years, we have not changed our position that it was stupid to spend so much time on The Scarlet Letter. Back then, administrators felt obligated to teach us American literature but I wish they'd chosen Whitman instead of Hawthorne. I suppose Whitman was considered too ecstatic and nature-loving...quite the opposite of Hawthorne. Or perhaps did the authorities want to tamp down our teen-aged desires and warn that we might be figuratively branded with a scarlet A if we indulged in them? If so, it didn't work.

We also talked a bit about Moby-Dick. I see that Elizabeth Kolbert refers to the novel several times in her article about sperm whales. Interesting tidbit about why they got the name "sperm" whale. I was shocked when she actually ended the article with a ChatGPT quote. Didn't Jill LePore do that too recently? Are the days gone when authors will reference actual quotes by actual authors in their writing?
"chewing gum and duct tape"