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 Matthew Trammell is not like a piece by James Wood, and neither is like a piece by Peter Schjeldahl. One could not mistake Finnegan for Frazier, or Lepore for Paumgarten, or Goodyear for Khatchadourian. Each has found a style, and it is that style that I respond to as I read, and want to understand and describe.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Best of 2012








Here are my “Top Ten” picks of 2012:

FACT PIECES 
  1. Raffi Khatchadourian, “Transfiguration” (February 13 & 20, 2012)
  2. Robert A. Caro, “The Transition” (April 2, 2012)
  3. Nick Paumgarten, “Deadhead” (November 26, 2012)
  4. Ian Frazier, “Out of the Bronx” (February 6, 2012)
  5. Jill Lepore, “Battleground America” (April 23, 2012)
  6. Dexter Filkins, “Atonement” (October 29 & November 5, 2012)
  7. Ian Parker, “High Rise” (September 10, 2012)
  8. Lauren Collins, “Bread Winner” (December 3, 2012)
  9. Keith Gessen, “Polar Express” (December 24 & 31, 2012)
  10. Elizabeth Kolbert, “Recall of the Wild” (December 24 & 31, 2012)
CRITICAL PIECES
  1. James Wood, “Late and Soon” (December 10, 2012)
  2. Dan Chiasson, “The Body Artist” (November 12, 2012)
  3. James Wood, “Broken Record” (May 21, 2012)
  4. James Wood, “Total Recall” (August 13 & 20, 2012)
  5. Dan Chiasson, “The Child In Time” (October 8, 2012)
  6. Peter Schjeldahl, “Young and Gifted” (June 25, 2012)
  7. Anthony Lane, “Out of the Frame” (September 3, 2012)
  8. Lorrie Moore, “Canada Dry” (May 21, 2012)
  9. Joanna Kavenna, “Things Fall Apart” (September 3, 2012)
  10. Dahlia Lithwick, “Extreme Makeover” (March 12, 2012)
TALK STORIES
  1. Lizzie Widdicombe, “Rush” (September 3, 2012)
  2. Rebecca Mead, “Right-Hand Man” (September 3, 2012)
  3. Alec Wilkinson, “Indigenous” (October 1, 2012)
  4. Nick Paumgarten, “Hello, Dolly” (October 1, 2012) 
  5. Ian Frazier, “Lost and Found” (July 23, 2012)
  6. Alec Wilkinson, “Tag Team” (July 23, 2012)
  7. Ian Frazier, “Bunkers” (January 9, 2012)
  8. Ian Frazier, “Neighbors” (October 1, 2012)
  9. Ben McGrath, “Zone A-Plus” (November 12, 2012) 
  10. Tad Friend, “Hit Parade” (December 24 & 31, 2012)
Credit: The above artwork is by Laurent Cilluffo; it appears in The New Yorker (November 26, 2012) as an illustration for “On The Horizon.”

No comments:

Post a Comment