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.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

August 3, 2015 Issue

Pick of the Issue this week is a contest between Becky Cooper’s "Bar Tab: Loosie Rouge" (“Panties, petite enough to fit the models clustered around the bar, hung like birthday bunting over the liquor bottles”), Silvia Killingsworth’s "Tables For Two: Chomp Chomp" (“For dessert, get the banana fritters, eat them hot, and wait for the kiss of spice”), Ian Frazier’s, "Amo, Amas" (“Languages and facts flew like sparks from a grindstone and skidded bluely onto the board”), and Peter Schjeldahl’s "Shapes and Colors" (“At length, beauty does arrive, though clad in its judicial robes, as truth”).

And the winner is Becky Cooper’s “Bar Tab: Loosie Rouge” for superbly noticing those petite panties “hung like birthday bunting over the liquor bottles.”

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