Author Topic: In the New Yorker...  (Read 472931 times)

Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #350 on: August 14, 2011, 02:15:37 am »
I liked that article, too. I rather like the notion that perhaps humans didn't choose dogs, that instead dogs chose us.  ;D

Apparently some plants have done the same thing. A fascinating book I read a few years back is Michael Pollan's The Botany of Desire (Pollan normally writes for the NYT magazine, not the NYer, so this is slightly OT), in which he talks about plants that have evolved to interact with humans. Here's the description from his website:

The Botany of Desire
A Plant's-Eye View of the World


In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed reciprocal relationships similar to that of honeybees and flowers. He masterfully links four fundamental human desires—sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control—with the plants that satisfy them: the apple, the tulip, marijuana, and the potato. In telling the stories of four familiar species, Pollan illustrates how the plants have evolved to satisfy humankind’s most basic yearnings. And just as we’ve benefited from these plants, we have also done well by them. So who is really domesticating whom?


Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #351 on: August 14, 2011, 09:31:04 pm »
I've read the Alex Ross piece on Oscar Wilde in the August 8 issue--makes me want to go back and reread The Picture of Dorian Gray to look for all the discreet gay allusions that I don't remember seeing when I read it years ago.  ;D

Also makes me want to look up Alex Ross; apparently he's gay and married to his partner.

Anyway, what really fascinated me was to learn that Arthur Conan Doyle knew Oscar Wilde, and they both published in Lippincott's magazine, which was published here in Philadelphia--the Lippincott name endured in publishing for well over a hundred years, actually. I had never thought about Conan Doyle and Wilde moving in the same circles.

There's a new book coming out about Dorian Gray by Nicholas Frankel this year and yesterday he recommended books of "decadent writing of the 19th century." The first was a book by my ancestor, Robert Louis Stevenson, called The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. Doyle...Wilde...Stevenson...the game is afoot!!
May 2019 be better for us all.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #352 on: August 15, 2011, 08:55:31 am »
The Botany of Desire
A Plant's-Eye View of the World


In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed reciprocal relationships similar to that of honeybees and flowers. He masterfully links four fundamental human desires—sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control—with the plants that satisfy them: the apple, the tulip, marijuana, and the potato. In telling the stories of four familiar species, Pollan illustrates how the plants have evolved to satisfy humankind’s most basic yearnings. And just as we’ve benefited from these plants, we have also done well by them. So who is really domesticating whom?

Potatoes = control?  ???  I guess I need to read the book.  ???
"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 #353 on: August 15, 2011, 12:31:55 pm »
Potatoes = control?  ???  I guess I need to read the book.  ???

I can't remember the exact argument regarding potatoes, other than that they're, obviously, food. The overall point is that plants that provided something useful to humans flourished, while those that didn't didn't, so it was like they "learned" through evolution to please humans.

Or something like that.  ::) ;D


Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #354 on: August 30, 2011, 01:14:00 pm »
I'm reading the articled about Clarence and Virginia Thomas in the Aug. 29 issue. I would never have imagined that I would ever have anything good to say about Clarence Thomas, but I actually do approve his practice of hiring clerks from less prominent or lesser known law schools than Harvard and Yale. I think that's a good idea.
"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 Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #355 on: September 06, 2011, 12:54:46 pm »
Finished the Timothy Ferriss article (Sept. 5 issue) over lunch today. Sounds like a high-end snake oil salesman, you ask me.
"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 #356 on: September 06, 2011, 01:46:22 pm »
Finished the Timothy Ferriss article (Sept. 5 issue) over lunch today. Sounds like a high-end snake oil salesman, you ask me.

Yes, especially the part about the 15 minute orgasm!
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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #357 on: September 07, 2011, 01:30:20 pm »
Well, I had a great time at lunch today reading Louis Menand's piece on Dwight Macdonald in the September 5 issue. Makes me want to run out and read some Macdonald.

But then, I also always enjoying reading Louis Menand. I envy people who get to have him for English at Harvard. I love sentences like this:

Quote
A person whose financial requirements are modest and whose curiosity, skepticism, and indifference to reputation are outsized is a person at risk of becoming a journalist.

 ;D

Of course, with regard to Macdonald's financial requirements, Menand does mention that Macdonald married a woman who had a trust fund.  8)
"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 #358 on: September 07, 2011, 08:59:14 pm »
But then, I also always enjoying reading Louis Menand. I envy people who get to have him for English at Harvard. I love sentences like this:

He has claimed he never rewrites, that the sentences you read are exactly what he wrote the first time.


Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #359 on: September 07, 2011, 09:10:13 pm »
He has claimed he never rewrites, that the sentences you read are exactly what he wrote the first time.

 :o

Actually, that sentence I quoted made me think of you, Katharine.  ;)

At least the part about the outsized curiosity and skepticism.  :)
"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.