Friday, September 23, 2022

Here and There at The New Yorker

Half of The New Yorker’s readership subliminally or not so subliminally dreams of being in the magazine and the other half suffers from the delusion that their names have already appeared in the august periodical’s table of contents. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty could well have been an allegory for the prototypic subscriber. If you remember the story was written by James Thurber who was a famed New Yorker contributor. Sure, the fantasies in Thurber's fable    tend to center around wartime heroics, but the singular imagination of adulation experienced by anyone who submits a story, poem or Shouts & Murmurs piece could easily compete with the Purple Heart. The meaning of the word “submission’ has literally been transformed, at least for a part of the educated populace, by the stature the magazine has as an arbiter of talent. "Submission" is tantamount to approaching the gates of this Inferno. Remember Dante’s famous lines “lasciate all speranza voi ch’entrate?” If there were an ultimate “picker” who called out “saved” or “damned” with each petitioner carrying their old-fashioned SASE, it would be represented by the faces of David Remnick, Tina Brown, Robert Gottlieb, William Shawn, Harold Ross--all legendary New Yorker editors.

read "Ultimate Rejection!" by Francis Levy, The East Hampton Star

and listen to "This Old Heart of Mine"by Rod Steward (with Ronald Isley)

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