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Friday, October 07, 2005

A New Yorker Sandwich

Christopher Borrelli of The Toledo Blade (love that name) is a trifle disconcerted by The Complete New Yorker, the eight-DVD set that contains every single article, cartoon, short story and advertisement ever to be published in that magazine:

"In an essay included with The Complete New Yorker, editor David Remnick marvels at how everything ever published in the magazine since its rocky debut in February of 1925 amounts to 'a stack of disks no thicker than the grilled-cheese-and-tomato sandwich at your neighborhood diner.' What he's modest about is what those disks contain: Install the first and you get a virtual replica of the mag's in-house filing system. Poke around for a few minutes and again - you'll want to nap.

"Not from boredom.

"From the sheer possibilities.

"...If there's anything missing in The Complete New Yorker, it's the details of its long, strange, landmark history - only referenced in a bare bones timeline included in a companion book. That a book comes with this set at all - full of reproductions of stories and covers from the magazine - is an admission that no digital archive can completely substitute for the joy of curling up with the actual glossy edition and losing yourself in a subject you thought you never cared about."

4 Comments:

  • Even though it's the complete New Yorker, I'd never buy the digital version. I HAVE to have books.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:37 PM  

  • I have been a subscriber to the New Yorker magazine since the 80's. Numerous times I had regretted not having saved an issue with an article or short story I especially liked. Then I bought the "Complete New Yorker" the day it came out. Now no more regrets.

    Sure you need to either sit at the computer or print out an article to read it. But it's a small price to pay for the space-saving it allows and the heartaches it prevents.

    By Blogger Ram R, at 12:23 AM  

  • Forgot to mention. There is also the joy of discovering gems from the issues before my subscription started, or even before I was born. A case in point: one issue of the New Yorker in 1946 was entirely devoted to a SINGLE article titled "Hiroshima." It follows the lives of six people from the hours just before the bomb was dropped until a few days later. Utterly captivating!

    By Blogger Ram R, at 12:31 AM  

  • True. That was the piece by John Hersey, later published as a small book by Knopf.

    By Blogger PrufrockTwo, at 7:32 AM  

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