Saturday, May 21, 2016

"New Yorker" treats

Anyone who visits this site regularly knows that the New Yorker magazine is well read here.  For the most part, what is in each issue is just accepted as already widely disseminated, but occasionally there are issues that require mention here.  The May 23rd issue falls in that category.

There are the usual items of interest in Talk of the Town and the critics section is solid.  There are three articles of exceptional note.  The primary one is Jonathan Franzen's article "The End of the End of the World".  It is about a cruise to Antarctica that he had a chance to take and, as is completely expected from Franzen, a veer off into a tale of his family.  The cruise is described in ways that make such a trip seem almost a life necessity, like seeing a complete solar eclipse of the sun at some point, and then if anyone wants to read about and learn more about penguins, I did, this is fine reading. The family tale is endearing and written in a way that is makes the routine seem incredibly important. The article reminded me of what a talented writer Franzen is, and that was needed as most recently I got lost in "Purity", his most recent mega novel, after having enjoyed his first two over the last twelve years.

The second article of special note was "Full Exposure", a portfolio of previously unpublished photos by Diane Arbus from the late 1950's and early 1960's.  Where else could a reader find something like this.  The third of somewhat lesser note than the first two is "Enter Left", a look at the unlikely rise of Jeremy Corbyn to be head of the British Labor Party.  The hook here is the mention of this phenomenon as somewhat parallel to the success of Bernie Sanders here in the U.S.

That's the May 23rd issue, but I can't sign off without mentioning George Packer's lead Talk of the Town comment in the May 16th issue.  That is the best clear and simple explanation of the Trump phenomenon that has been seen here.


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