This is the story of "The New Yorker" magazine, which celebrates its 75th birthday this year. But it is also the story of a great literary age which harboured some of this century's greatest writers. Founded on champagne vapour during the jazz age "The New Yorker" grew in its first ten years from a local weekly humour magazine into a major ...
This is the story of "The New Yorker" magazine, which celebrates its 75th birthday this year. But it is also the story of a great literary age which harboured some of this century's greatest writers. Founded on champagne vapour during the jazz age "The New Yorker" grew in its first ten years from a local weekly humour magazine into a major literary enterprise; today it is an international institution. "The New Yorker" established its reputation by publishing some of this century's most important writers including the humour of E.B. White, S.J. Perelman and James Thurber. The Second World War strengthened the note of seriousness which had begun to be heard in the thirties in the publication of the ground breaking journalism of Janet Flanner and John Hersey, and in later years the work of Mary McCarthy, J.D. Salinger, John Updike, John Cheever, Ann Beattie and Bobbie Ann Mason. Ben Yagoda has devoted years of reserach to unearthing articles from the previously closed archives of "The New Yorker". With access to the complete editorial correspondece from 1925 onwards, internal office correspondence, edited manuscripts, articles and rejection letters, Yagoda has distilled a huge amount of material in an attempt to reproduce the essence of "The New Yorker".
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Publishers Weekly, 2000-01-03 Based on the recently opened New Yorker archives, Yagoda's compelling if slow-moving volume follows the workings and fortunes of the famous weekly magazine. Yagoda begins in 1924, just before the New Yorker's start as a humor journal. Founder Harold Ross's stylistic conservatism, his meticulous editing and his ability to delegate authority helped build up the magazine, creating what Yagoda considers its Golden Age in the late 1930s. WWII gave it new reach and seriousness. William Shawn's ascent to editor-in-chief in 1951 brought, at first, a prosperous complacency; his devotion to serious, long essays, and editor Roger Angell's eye for new fiction, created in the '70s, Yagoda argues, the magazine's second great period. But Shawn's eccentric secretiveness, his odd financial arrangements with writers and his unwillingness to allot power laid the grounds for the New Yorker's latter-day troubles. (A brief epilogue covers events after 1987, the year of the 79-year-old Shawn's dismissal.) "Whole new graphic and literary genres"--the long profile, John O'Hara's short stories, James Thurber's humor, Roz Chast's cartoons--"would not have come to be without the New Yorker"; Yagoda shows why and how they arose. Rich details illuminate the careers of essayists, humorists, critics and journalists, short story writers and cartoonists. Combining anecdote, biography, literary history and a serious look at the business side of the magazine, Yagoda (Will Rogers: A Biography) explores "the New Yorker as an institution," its "effect on the creative artists linked to it" and the way the magazine came to epitomize "the educated American middle and upper-middle classes"; all three stories emerge and shine. 8 pages illus. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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