Author Topic: In the New Yorker...  (Read 502609 times)

Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #460 on: February 09, 2012, 02:11:42 pm »
I have received the annual anniversary issue, the one with Eustace Tilley on the cover.  ;D

I immediately read Jonathan Franzen's article on Edith Wharton, who is an author I'm more interested in reading about than reading.  ;D  ::)

I managed to get through high school and college without reading Ethan Frome. The closest I've come to Edith Wharton was the movie of The Age of Innocence, with Daniel Day-Lewis and Michelle Pfeifer, some scenes of which were filmed at the venerable Academy of Music here in Philadelphia.

Though I must say, after reading Franzen's article, I am a bit curious about a book whose main character is named Undine Spragg.  ;D

I turned to that right away, too. I'm about halfway through it. I read AoI maybe a decade ago and read HoM just three years ago. Loved both. I haven't read any of her others. I also am generally a Franzen fan.

But I'm finding Franzen's piece annoying. And the constant, constant harping on EW's looks strikes me as sexist -- I can see how her appearance would be a factor in her life, and is undoubtedly worth mentioning, but I think he's overplaying it in implying it's sort of the defining fact of her life and writing. From the photo accompanying the story, she's not a gargoyle, just not out-and-out beautiful. Lots of writers aren't. How would he analyze George Eliot? Eudora Welty? Would he use the same lens to analyze Henry James? Jean-Paul Sartre?

I should add that he does make some excellent points about the way we sympathize with characters in fiction. But I don't extend that to the authors themselves -- I think a character can be sympathetic even if his/her author is not. Who cares whether Edith Wharton was rich, plain or non-charming, as long as you enjoy her novels?


Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #461 on: February 15, 2012, 02:20:01 pm »
Over lunch today I read Ian Frazier's article in the Feb. 6 issue about the fate of the Stella D'Oro and Archway cookie companies (I love Ian Frazier's articles). I found it very interesting. Growing up in Central Pennsylvania, I knew both brand names, though my family was not a user of Stella D'Oro products. We were an Archway family, and we always--well, almost always--had Archway cookies in the house. Archway soft molasses cookies were the next best thing to homemade, and as a small boy I also particularly liked Archway's "Icebox" chocolate chip cookies (I never really understood that name, "Icebox"; I always assumed it came from the shape of the cookie  ;D ). As an occasional treat, before I was allowed to drink coffee, my mother would make a cup of coffee and let me dunk Archway sugar cookies into the coffee.  :D

Frazier's article I guess sort of explains why for a while it was impossible to find Archway cookies in the stores, and why, before this past Christmas, I began to notice some of them in stores again--though, sadly, not the soft molasses cookies.  :(
"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 #462 on: February 15, 2012, 02:33:12 pm »
I could be wrong, but my understanding is that "icebox" cookies are chilled in a solid block (or cylinder) and then sliced off and put on a cookie sheet. Non-icebox cookies (like typical chocolate-chip cookies) are glopped by spoonfuls onto the cookie sheet.

I've started reading the one about the guy who lost his face after being electrocuted. I've gotten as far as where the doctors have carved off the burn-damaged tissue until he's just a bare skull on top of a body. The photo shows him with a face, though an odd looking one, so I'm waiting to see what they'll do next.


Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #463 on: February 15, 2012, 02:54:22 pm »
I could be wrong, but my understanding is that "icebox" cookies are chilled in a solid block (or cylinder) and then sliced off and put on a cookie sheet. Non-icebox cookies (like typical chocolate-chip cookies) are glopped by spoonfuls onto the cookie sheet.

That makes sense because the Archway cookies were rectangular in shape, as if they were sliced off a solid block and then baked.

Quote
I've started reading the one about the guy who lost his face after being electrocuted. I've gotten as far as where the doctors have carved off the burn-damaged tissue until he's just a bare skull on top of a body. The photo shows him with a face, though an odd looking one, so I'm waiting to see what they'll do next.

Haven't gotten to that one yet. As usual I have three issues "going" at once.  :)
"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.

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #464 on: February 16, 2012, 02:54:04 am »
Serious, I'm totally with you on the Edith Wharton article. I really like Franzen, but he was sort of out in left field here.

I couldn't resist the article about the man with the new face. I sort of felt guilty reading it.
Too much to do. . .I don't have time to get old!

Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #465 on: February 16, 2012, 09:22:50 am »
As usual I have three issues "going" at once.  :)

Only three? I've got some from last summer in my stack.


Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #466 on: February 21, 2012, 02:07:50 pm »
Over lunch today I finished "The Plagiarist's Tale." I have to admit I'm somewhat in awe of what this person did. Someone quoted in the article mentioned the amount of work involved, and it does seem to me that stealing a whole bunch of text from a whole bunch of different authors and stitching it all together to make a coherent tale is kind of, well, awe-inspiring.

Not that I'm condoning it, because I'm not.

I've now started the face transplant story.
"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 #467 on: February 21, 2012, 04:04:43 pm »
I've now started the face transplant story.

It's a longy. I'm only partway through it, but it's interesting -- an examination of the history and difficulties involved in transplants in general and face transplants in particular.




Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #468 on: February 21, 2012, 04:18:16 pm »
It's a longy. I'm only partway through it, but it's interesting -- an examination of the history and difficulties involved in transplants in general and face transplants in particular.

Yeah, that's sorta why I left it for last. I tend to read the short articles--pieces that can be completed in one or two lunches or dinners--first, and then read the long stuff.
"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 #469 on: February 21, 2012, 05:39:59 pm »
Yeah, that's sorta why I left it for last. I tend to read the short articles--pieces that can be completed in one or two lunches or dinners--first, and then read the long stuff.

Me too, sort of. I start with the back page (if I remember to), then go to the "Shouts and Murmurs" and "Current Cinema," then to anyone whose byline is an immediate must-read -- Sedaris, Gladwell, Levy, Gawande, Lepore, etc. -- then I turn to to either the shortest or the most accessible piece (like, some light thing about American culture would come before reportage about fighting in Afghanistan -- what can I say? I'm a typical American airhead). If nothing jumps out, it goes onto The Stack.