Author Topic: In the New Yorker...  (Read 563322 times)

Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #960 on: October 04, 2014, 12:44:25 am »
I'm a Meghan Daum fan, but I didn't make it through the whole essay.



Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #961 on: October 14, 2014, 09:12:37 pm »
I started gong through my old New Yorkers tonight to recycle them. I didn't even make it through the whole pile, which contained issues as old as Sept. 2013.

I kept ripping out articles I wanted to read. Not all of them duty articles, either! Now I'll staple those and keep them in a pile and they'll just sit there gathering dust while I don't get around to reading them.

No -- somehow I vow to find time to read at least some of them! Some looked pretty good!



Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #962 on: October 14, 2014, 09:35:32 pm »
I took an issue with me to read when I had dinner out Saturday night. Turned out my waiter is also a reader, and a big fan of Jill Lepore.  :D
"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 #963 on: October 16, 2014, 10:56:45 pm »
I'm enjoying Peter Hessler's story (Oct. 13) about his trash collector in Cairo.
"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 #964 on: October 17, 2014, 09:36:22 am »
I'm enjoying Peter Hessler's story (Oct. 13) about his trash collector in Cairo.

I need to go back and find this. At first glance, I dismissed it as a bit too "duty." (Sorry to sound so xenophobic, but "takes place on foreign soil" is one of the factors I associate with duty.) But I've heard it praised in several places now, so I will definitely give it a try.

I, meanwhile, am reading the article about fast-food workers trying to unionize, which is less duty than you might think. Their working conditions really are awful, and the ratio between the earnings of fast-food CEOs and the line workers is like 900-something to 1, which is outlandish even by American standards -- in the construction industry, for example, it's 90-something to 1. (I once read that Japanese CEOs consider it a mark of shame if they make more than maybe 30 times their employees, and even in the earlier days of the United States the ratio was something like 20 or 30 to 1.) $15 an hour may sound like a lot to earn for working at McDonald's, but in constant dollars it's about what fast-food workers made 30 years ago.

(All of the numbers in the above paragraph rely on my memory and are approximate at best.)



Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #965 on: October 17, 2014, 11:06:27 am »
I need to go back and find this. At first glance, I dismissed it as a bit too "duty." (Sorry to sound so xenophobic, but "takes place on foreign soil" is one of the factors I associate with duty.) But I've heard it praised in several places now, so I will definitely give it a try.

Actually, it's the kind of "takes place on foreign soil" article that I really like, because it goes into what it's like to actually live in these places. It's not about the Muslim Brotherhood or what's going on in Tahrir Square--at least, not as far as I've read--or subjects like that.

Quote
I, meanwhile, am reading the article about fast-food workers trying to unionize, which is less duty than you might think. Their working conditions really are awful, and the ratio between the earnings of fast-food CEOs and the line workers is like 900-something to 1, which is outlandish even by American standards -- in the construction industry, for example, it's 90-something to 1. (I once read that Japanese CEOs consider it a mark of shame if they make more than maybe 30 times their employees, and even in the earlier days of the United States the ratio was something like 20 or 30 to 1.) $15 an hour may sound like a lot to earn for working at McDonald's, but in constant dollars it's about what fast-food workers made 30 years ago.

(All of the numbers in the above paragraph rely on my memory and are approximate at best.)

I guess we really do have different ideas about what makes a "duty article." I don't disagree with anything you say about the article or how awful it is for these people, and yet this is the sort of article that I find far more duty-ish than one about the life of a trash collector in Cairo.  :-\  (I did read that article, and it resonated because it appeared not too long after a protest right here in Philadelphia, but it's still the sort of article that I consider duty-ish. I guess anything even remotely political--even foreign political--is duty-ish for me. Plus it's probably true that  anything by Jon Lee Anderson or Dexter Filkins is duty-ish for me.  ;D)
"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 #966 on: October 17, 2014, 10:44:47 pm »
My reason for reading the New Yorker is to read excellent writing and so try to keep my own skills sharp. I've been in for a learning experience lately as it seems like the magazine is undergoing an overhaul, from the Talk of the Town to the cartoons and beyond. It's unsettling every time I open a new issue, and sometimes I am concerned that they're going in a wrong direction. But, then I come across a gem that inspires me.

Today, I was reading Anthony Lane's review of Gone Girl and I thought he nailed it when he said, "Nick remains, to put it gently, a lunkhead." Nick is the protagonist of the movie, played by Ben Affleck. There are many other examples of the new New Yorker approach. I'll post some of them here.
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #967 on: October 17, 2014, 11:33:19 pm »
My reason for reading the New Yorker is to read excellent writing and so try to keep my own skills sharp. I've been in for a learning experience lately as it seems like the magazine is undergoing an overhaul, from the Talk of the Town to the cartoons and beyond. It's unsettling every time I open a new issue, and sometimes I am concerned that they're going in a wrong direction. But, then I come across a gem that inspires me.

Today, I was reading Anthony Lane's review of Gone Girl and I thought he nailed it when he said, "Nick remains, to put it gently, a lunkhead." Nick is the protagonist of the movie, played by Ben Affleck. There are many other examples of the new New Yorker approach. I'll post some of them here.

Please do! Because I'm not sure exactly what you're talking about, though I'm not arguing with your point. I'm just curious about what you've seen that you find unsettling or that seems like part of an overhaul.

I find the New Yorker mostly excellent, but it does have its weaknesses. One is the problem we've discussed here, about how almost every story begins with a sentence establishing timeframe: "Last November, ..." or "On a cold day in April ..." or "In the spring of 1912 ..." or whatever. It gets so redundant.

Also, I once read a transcript of a discussion between David Remnick and, I think it was, Jonathan Franzen. They were discussing David Foster Wallace and I believe Franzen noted that Wallace's essays had never been published in the New Yorker. "Not for lack of trying," David Remnick replied, and I thought, "Really?? You're feeling smug about being too selective to publish a writer who was perhaps the greatest essayist of his generation? OK, then. Yippee for you."

The New Yorker did publish Wallace's fiction, but I think posthumously.






Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #968 on: October 18, 2014, 11:22:44 am »
I find the New Yorker mostly excellent, but it does have its weaknesses. One is the problem we've discussed here, about how almost every story begins with a sentence establishing timeframe: "Last November, ..." or "On a cold day in April ..." or "In the spring of 1912 ..." or whatever. It gets so redundant.

Seriously, I do sometimes question whether the magazine gets any serious copyediting and proofreading any more.

And it occurs to me to wonder whether this has anything to do with having an editor or editors who also have their own writing career?

I mean, did William Shawn have his own writing career? Or was his job to edit The New Yorker? I've never heard Mr. Shawn remembered as a writer, only as the editor of The New Yorker--but that doesn't necessarily mean he wasn't also a writer.

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Also, I once read a transcript of a discussion between David Remnick and, I think it was, Jonathan Franzen. They were discussing David Foster Wallace and I believe Franzen noted that Wallace's essays had never been published in the New Yorker. "Not for lack of trying," David Remnick replied, and I thought, "Really?? You're feeling smug about being too selective to publish a writer who was perhaps the greatest essayist of his generation? OK, then. Yippee for you."

The New Yorker did publish Wallace's fiction, but I think posthumously.

The magazine also published an article about him after he killed himself.
"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 #969 on: October 18, 2014, 11:34:43 am »
I find the New Yorker mostly excellent, but it does have its weaknesses. One is the problem we've discussed here, about how almost every story begins with a sentence establishing timeframe: "Last November, ..." or "On a cold day in April ..." or "In the spring of 1912 ..." or whatever. It gets so redundant.

It's as if they have a template, and every article gets made to fit the template.  :-\
"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.