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, May 5, 2017

Gone to Scotland

Union Canal, Scotland (Photo by John MacDougall)

Tomorrow, I depart for Scotland to do some cycling. I’m taking John McPhee’s The Crofter and the Laird (1970) with me. It originally appeared in The New Yorker (December 6 & 13, 1969). I’ll post my review when I return, May 25, 2017.

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