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, June 27, 2013

June 24, 2013 Issue

Facing the joyless content (suicide, terminal dementia, amyloid plaques, tau tangles) of this week’s mordant issue – I need a drink. Oh to live in NYC and have access to the bar at Lafayette where, according to Amelia Lester’s wonderful “Tables For Two,” the “spectacular Asterix Elixir, made with herbes de Provence, gin, yellow chartreuse, and egg whites” is served. I’ll have one of those, please. Lacking such access, I’m going to mix myself a dark-and-dirty (four parts Lemon Hart rum, one part Coke), sit in my somewhat mosquito-proof, screened-in porch and imagine Amelia and me in that “light-filled dining room on a balmy summer’s evening” savoring those “velvety baby scallops.” Here's to you, Amelia - “pure pleasure,” indeed!

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