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 Nick Paumgarten is not like a piece by Dana Goodyear, and neither is like a piece by Ian Frazier. One could not mistake Finnegan for Friend, or Bilger for Lepore, or Collins 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.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Subhankar Banerjee's "Sheenjek River II"

Subhankar Banerjee, Sheenjek River II (2002)

Subhankar Banerjee’s landscape photograph Sheenjek River II (2002) is stunning. It’s used to illustrate Ian Frazier’s absorbing review of Banerjee’s Arctic Voices: Resistance at the Tipping Point (“In the Beautiful, Threatened North,” The New York Review of Books, March 7, 2013). Luminous, exquisite, pale gray-blue-mauve intermingling with pearl and aquamarine, almost abstract like a Helen Frankenthaler – it takes my breath away.

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