Introduction

What is The New Yorker? I know it’s a great magazine and that it’s a tremendous source of pleasure in my life. But what exactly is it? This blog’s premise is that The New Yorker is a work of art, as worthy of comment and analysis as, say, Keats’s “Ode on a Grecian Urn.” Each week I review one or more aspects of the magazine’s latest issue. I suppose it’s possible to describe and analyze an entire issue, but I prefer to keep my reviews brief, and so I usually focus on just one or two pieces, to explore in each the signature style of its author. A piece by Ben McGrath is not like a piece by Jill Lepore, and neither is like a piece by Ian Frazier. One could not mistake Finnegan for Goodyear, or Filkins for Khatchadourian, or Bilger for Paumgarten. Each has found a style, and it is that style that I respond to as I read, and want to understand and describe.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

December 12, 2011 Issue


There are a few piquant details in this week’s issue: the Beagle’s White Monkey cocktail that “somehow exactly evokes the flavor of a Granny Smith apple” (Hannah Goldfield, “Tables For Two”), the two baby teeth in Julia Taubman’s left earlobe – “one from each of her twin sons” (Nick Paumgarten, “Detroit Valentine”); a Citroën DS “the color of light manure” (Anthony Lane, “I Spy”), and Rooney Mara’s fingers “poking out of black woollen gloves as they skitter across a laptop keyboard” (David Denby, “Double Dare”). I particularly like that White Monkey. I wish I had the ingredients to mix one at home. But since I don’t, I’m going to make rum eggnog, instead. Here’s to Goldfield, Paumgarten, Lane, and Denby!

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