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, January 31, 2017

At the Archive: Robert Andrew Parker's "Erich von Stroheim"

Robert Andrew Parker, "Erich von Stroheim" (1999)

This is the first post in a new series called “At the Archive,” in which I visit The New Yorker’s vast online archive in search of intriguing articles and images. If something catches my eye, I’ll dust it off, hold it up to the light, and say why it appeals to me. Today’s find is Robert Andrew Parker’s portrait of Erich von Stroheim (“Goings On About Town,” July 5, 1999). Parker is one of my favorite New Yorker illustrators. His work regularly appeared in the magazine back in the late nineties and early aughts. I relish this von Stroheim picture for its luminosity and saturated color. I’m not sure what movie it’s based on. From the stars on the collar, I’m guessing it’s Blind Husbands (1918) – von Stroheim’s first film as writer, director, and star.  

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