David Denby wrote a mad-crazy review of Silver Linings Playbook in the New Yorker. Thankfully for his dignity, it was behind the paywall, and came after a lengthy review of that weird dead snoozer, Life of Pi (it's an effusive but cautious rave, but he does call Life of Pi "one of the great adventure films"). Here's a taste: "David O. Russell's 'Silver Linings Playbook' is pretty much a miscalculation from beginning to end," and he goes on to call it nothing more than an exercise for actors, that it "feels worked up." This is a point of view at least, if a wrong one, and artificiality is a [...]
Stop crucifying Jonah Lehrer! It's more important that good ideas get disseminated than that magazines keep exclusivity! @jonahlehrer
— Parag Khanna (@paragkhanna) June 21, 2012
No one who's going on about how everyone is "celebrating" Jonah Lehrer's trouble with repackaging works or "crucifying" him or expressing "schadenfreude" has ever cited anyone who's actually doing any of those things.
The May 7th issue of The New Yorker features a Mother's Day-themed cover by Chris Ware. The art editor who oversaw its creation is Françoise Mouly, who, since joining The New Yorker in 1993, has guided more than 950 of the magazine's covers, including some of the most iconic of recent years (including the September 11, 2001 black-on-black cover with Art Spiegelman, and Barry Blitt's "terrorist first bump" cover in 2008). In the new book Blown Covers, Mouly shares cover concepts that never made it on the magazine, with sketches from a roster of New Yorker artists with whom she works regularly.
In addition to her duties at [...]
Poor David Sedaris! The recent "truth in journalism" dust-ups—John D'Agata's bizarre book written with a former fact-checker, and the "This American Life" episode-long retraction of Mike Daisey's "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs"—has given everyone a chance to call Sedaris a liar. But it's okay that he is! Sometimes. Wait, is it? Not really. Let's see what everyone thinks about David Sedaris.
David: I need a haircut, Maria. I look like a duckling right now.
Maria: And a stiff drink, if you listened to that radio interview with Caitlin Flanagan, like we were supposed to. Evidently the women of America had calmed down too much since her last book, To Hell With All That, caused such a ruckus over what was widely perceived as the author's throwback and essentialist anti-feminist ideology. So not content to get people in a stir with Atlantic Monthly and New Yorker appearances, she's written a new one, Girl Land. Even the cover of which is pretty provoking.
All these moms are fine [...]
You should know that it's subscription-only at the New Yorker, but Janet Malcolm on the photographer Thomas Struth is really right-on: it winds eventually and carefully to the heart of his strangely warm photographs that should be cold. A wee excerpt, in the classic Malcolm style!
Famous story, here recounted by The Daily News:
Harold Brodkey used to tell the tale of how legendary New Yorker magazine editor William Shawn handled his use of a four-letter word: It's up to you, Shawn said, but would you rather be remembered for your story or the first use of that word in this magazine? Brodkey spiked the offending expletive.
Shawn was indeed vigilant against vulgarity. It's said that, being afraid of elevators, he used to carry a hatchet in his briefcase in case he was ever trapped inside one. But I like to think the weapon served also as a warning to staffers who did not get [...]