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I meant to make a laudatory post last week to the effect that, where other than The New Yorker might you find a smart, funny, informative article on a literary figure as obscure as Alfred Lord Dunsany

I took that test when we applied to adopt! Picture was from the 30's: any idiot could tell that you were supposed to translate the stallion and the shirtless man in the picture into something sexual.

Mitchell is right on this precise point, though: as a classical music fan, I find its use in classical venues to be an outrage.

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be careful with that evil twin tap list. the lagers are usually good, and so is most of the hoppy beer, but anything labeled sour or milkshake is going to be closer to some kind of fruit smoothie than a beer. the seltzer’s are as described.

I had a terrific meal at rolo’s recently.

while in kathmandu, which is always great, is cash only.

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The Daily Beast piece is a mess.


Perhaps more troublingly, she claimed, was that two issues raised about her work were actually factual errors inserted into her writing by top boss David Remnick...


Instead, Overbey claimed, the factual errors were inserted by New Yorker Editor-in-Chief David Remnick...


And while she never directly accused Remnick of deliberately inserting mistakes into her work, she did refer to the mistakes as a possible attempt at entrapping her.

Emphasis added. Well, which is it? 

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And that led me to search the Criterion Channel, and wow there's a documentary featuring a long interview with her shortly before Tynan's. It's fantastic. Her knowledge of her craft, her ability to speak first hand about European and Hollywood cinema in the 20s and 30s, I never knew this existed. Lulu in Berlin if you have a subscription.

There's another documentary about her which I haven't looked at yet, as well as Pandora's Box if anyone unthinkably hasn't seen it. You need to set aside a full evening for that one.

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In the new issue, Remnick argues for the award of the Nobel Prize for literature to Salman Rushdie. But rather than discussing his main point, I wanted to be persnickety about another observation: that the failure to award the prize to many major writers was just "folly."

While the list of Nobel laureates is of course indefensible, going through Remnick's list of major writers not awarded the prize, I could come up with colorable reasons in several cases.

The prize is not awarded to dead authors. Proust died before most of La Recherche was published. Much of MWQ was published before Musil's death but it is conspicuously unfinished. 

Kafka died before his novels were published. That's quite a well-known fact.

Yes, there was time to award it to Joyce, but not much: Ulysses didn't appear in a Swedish edition until after his death, and had been widely banned until five or six years before his death.

Chekhov could have won it too, but only in the first three years of its existence before he popped off ( and we know that, more recently at least, writers can be on the short-list a while). Twain lived to 1910, but it can hardly have helped that his major works were published decades before the prize was instituted.

I agree with Remnick, of course, about some of his candidates, but it's misleading to suggest that in every case the Academy was ignoring what now seem to be obvious slam dunk winners.


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More irritated by this as I obsess about it. Kafka is a flat out mistake that should have been picked up by fact checking.

But Proust. What was the Academy supposed to do? "Those first two or three volumes are great, so we're going to hand you the prize right away because to be honest you don't look so great."

And Musil. Who knew he was going to die before finishing the damn novel? This is some lazy, silly repetition of received wisdom without thinking about it. I wouldn't care if it was a tabloid.

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The Nobel Committee should have intuited that there was this Jew in Prague who had this stash of really great writings that he didn't want published and that would only be published, in the future, against his express wishes, after his death.

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