Monday, August 30, 2004

You may ask why I give my attention to the New Yorker each week, instead of some less-attended and more-deserving publication, one I (ahem) appreciate more. You might. I might. I might as well.

Why review the New Yorker?

A contrarian impulse. To see a-if its reputation for blandness is warranted (not these past weeks, actually, but I did read it for a few years in the mid-nineties and it was a dry stretch virtually uninterrupted until I let my subscription lapse. Maybe the taste has gotten better there? or mine worse?). b-to ‘protest’ (and how I wish I were there) said blandness not by supporting its ‘opposite’ but by (futilely) holding it to the standards of actual poetry, and not that of mere signed edifice.

Futilely because its circulation is—what? 650,00 I think I remember? & how many people read a New Yorker poem? More than I have time to count to. My one voice against that? Not even against, but for, idealistic and open, humble (as in I am not an inspired critical voice, just trying out my reading naked and responsive), it.

How can I resist?

and: In Bernstein's My Way, he has a short essay titled "Water Images of The New Yorker." It would seem that nearly every poem published in that magazine is run through with the trope of water. Funny essay.

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