crap/not crap: the new yorker

first off, i don’t care about the cartoons. sorry, but they do nothing for me except evoke weird, schmaltzy, upper-class but middle-brow ‘humor.’

they gave sy hersh a place to break the abu ghraib story, so that’s rad.

but i suppose it’s the ‘literary’ pretense that irks me the most. while the new yorker can claim to be an important mainstream clearinghouse for serious writing, i have a hard-time taking its taste in serious writing seriously. new poems from john updike, really?  i know they’ve hosted stuff by ashberry and muldoon, but only when those two were safely nestled into the big-time, parochial nest of ‘important’ poets.

maybe my angst is really at whoever today’s literary tastemakers are, and maybe the new yorker is just the closest target. but in the end i see this mag and wonder, why would i put down harper’s for this? maybe i just know new york well enough to avoid getting jellied and wistful when new yorkers tell me what all the best people like.


9 Responses to “crap/not crap: the new yorker”

  1. Kyle's Mammy Says:

    Not Crap for years and years of Pauline Kael.

  2. Jordan Says:

    It’s a mixture of crap and not-crap as you already mentioned. I like a lot of the commentary, especially by S.Hersh, but like you have no interest in it’s capacity as a literary disseminator.

  3. wobs Says:

    Its investigate reporting = not crap

    ms. wobs says you can occasionally find good writing in there, but a lot of times, it’s who’s in with the eds that sets the bar. But I don’t read the lit – just the articles.

    Their movie reviews = crap

    I got ms. wobs the complete New Yorker on DVDs for the winter holidays, and it does read like a treasure trove of important American literature. I can’t speak for its contemporary quality, of course, but it was definitely at one point a showcase for some extraordinary talent.

  4. andrew schmidt Says:

    some issues are crap. other’s have not crap articles. Sasha Frere-Jones is crap. there are sometimes great photos.

  5. minx Says:


  6. dan Says:

    I have subscribed multiple times and let the subscription lapse multiple times. George Booth’s cartoons are truly the best. Sy Hersh’s stuff is great. It’s funny how they use erotic photography as the title page for many of their short stories these days. A sign that many of the stories they publish are boring. Like using boobs to sell wood clamps. I like reading the club listings.

    It’s a ton of reading and they tend to pile up on me.

    like 1 in 30 of the poems, as they seem to have a pneumatic bank teller tube from the university writing labs to their pages. I don’t know what makes a “new yorker poem” or a “writer’s workshop poem” but they seem to publish “writer’s workshop poems for the new yorker,” whatever that is. I think it’s a magazine that demands alot of the reader, and some of what they demand is respect for a rarified literary status that seems more a matter of attitude now.

    Anyway, I say “not crap.” But it’s just a magazine.

  7. nuge Says:

    Ditto, all above, don’t put down your copy of Harpers. The New Yorker is a bit more sophisticated version of Esquire IMO

  8. andrew schmidt Says:

    i wonder how the ny’er would stack up if it only came out once a month?

  9. EZ Says:

    it is Crap…that I read every week

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