Here is a very short excerpt from the “Wintertide” chapter of “Coconut Oil.” Oh, and the jouissance of the creamy oil’s single flavor savors of favor, in the bath, kitchen, by the four-poster or berth, […]
I was struck by Louis Menand’s comment in his review of Douglas Brinkley’s biography of Walter Cronkite (New Yorker, July 9 & 16, 2012), that “…’Cronkite’ (HarperCollins), is long and hastily written… (88).” I wasn’t […]
This week, The New Yorker, on Twitter, is sponsoring a tweet-fest, calling on followers to tweet their all-time favorite New Yorker piece. My first response was a tongue-in-cheek, “The Cartoons”!
I’ve been reading the New Yorker, a weekly, for over 40 years, but these days when I intone the magic words, “Speak, Memory,” I often receive in reply a feeble tweet, even falling short of the 140 character limit. Anyway, it takes more than a tweet to recall a full piece, at least for this twitterer. I do recall one of my favorite all time cartoons, from the mid-80’s. I taped it to my at-work monitor, until my boss at the time told me he didn’t get the joke. I brought it home and taped it to the icebox. Just so, most of the articles I remember are those I tried to encourage others to read, too. I remember the William Finnegan piece on surfing off San Francisco (August 24, 1992); I mailed it to an old surfing buddy.
Ian Frazier, in “Hungry Minds: Tales from a Chelsea Soup Kitchen” (May 26, 2008), wrote what has become one of my all time favorites. In “Hungry Minds,” Frazier explores at least three kinds of hunger: physical (the soup kitchen), intellectual (the writers’ workshop), and spiritual (the church). Must every hunger be fed? One might hunger for anything (war or peace; duty or love; work or play; music or silence; risk or safety; celebrity or privacy; memory or amnesia; nirvana or grace), and the human appetite seems insatiable. Then there are the thirsts, which Frazier’s article also touches on (to belong; for community; for recognition; to tell one’s tale; and a thirst to feed the hungry). Human thirst seems unquenchable. What else can explain Twitter?
Newspapers are dying, but as they slide into immateriality, they’re looking for ways to merge into Internet traffic. Regular columnists are forced to blog to establish stronger and closer connections with their audiences. No doubt […]
“Off with their heads!” shouts Carroll’s Queen in Wonderland. Just so, Platon has beheaded them all in “Portraits of Power,” in the December 7 New Yorker. The head of state is not a whole person, […]
As we watch the coming of the end of books and the disappearance of newspapers, we note an increase in electronic self-publishing, blogs the obvious pedestrian example, but then, in an interesting twist, we see blogs […]
The end of books is closer than we thought. A short article in today’s Christian Science Monitor discusses a private high school that has replaced the books in its library with a $12,000 espresso machine, three […]
In the September 28, 2009 issue of The New Yorker, we meet synthetic bio-Lego-boys Drew Endy and Rob Carlson: “Some of my best work has come together in my mind’s eye accompanied by what I […]
Jane Kramer tosses a lit toad into Montaigne’s lap – sitting in his tower, surrounded by his books, like nothing else in Tennessee: “He would have loved Google” (p. 40). Would Montaigne have loved Google, which, […]
The 2009 Believer music issue (July/August 09) arrived yesterday, and there’s a perceptive interview with jazz guitarist Pat Martino: “BLVR: What do you think jazz’s place in American culture is today?” “PM: The only thing […]
To a neighborly inquiry, yes, we saw the vicious attack on the venerable E. B. White, first in the Chronicle, then, with several bystanders jumping on for a kick or two, in the Times. We […]