The New Yorker

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The New Yorker

2004 cover with dandy Eustace Tilley, created by Rea Irvin. Eustace Tilley debuted on the first cover and reappears on anniversary issues.
Editor David Remnick
Categories Politics, social issues, popular culture
Frequency 47 per year
Total circulation 1,062,310[1]
First issue February 17, 1925
Company Condé Nast Publications
Country United States
Language English
ISSN 0028-792X

The New Yorker is an American magazine that publishes reportage, commentary, criticism, essays, fiction, satire, cartoons, and poetry. Starting as a weekly in the mid-1920s, the magazine is now published 47 times per year, with five of these issues covering two-week spans.

Although its reviews and events listings often focus on the cultural life of New York City, The New Yorker has a wide audience outside of New York. It is well known for its commentaries on popular culture and eccentric Americana; its attention to modern fiction by the inclusion of short stories and literary reviews; its rigorous fact checking and copyediting; its journalism on world politics and social issues; and its famous, single-panel cartoons sprinkled throughout each issue.


[edit] History

The New Yorker debuted on February 17, 1925, with the February 21st issue.[2] It was founded by Harold Ross and his wife, Jane Grant, a New York Times reporter. Ross wanted to create a sophisticated humor magazine—in contrast to the corniness of other humor publications such as Judge, where he had worked, or Life. Ross partnered with entrepreneur Raoul H. Fleischmann to establish the F-R Publishing Company and established the magazine's first offices at 25 West 45th Street in Manhattan. Ross edited the magazine until his death in 1951. During the early occasionally precarious years of its existence, the magazine prided itself on its cosmopolitan sophistication. Harold Ross famously declared in a 1925 prospectus for the magazine: "It has announced that it is not edited for the old lady in Dubuque."[3]

Although the magazine never lost its touches of humor, it soon established itself as a preeminent forum for serious journalism and fiction. Shortly after the end of World War II, John Hersey's essay Hiroshima filled an entire issue. In subsequent decades the magazine published short stories by many of the most respected writers of the 20th and 21st centuries, including Ann Beattie, John Cheever, Roald Dahl, Alice Munro, Haruki Murakami, Vladimir Nabokov, John O'Hara, Philip Roth, J.D. Salinger, Irwin Shaw, John Updike, E. B. White and Richard Yates. Publication of Shirley Jackson's The Lottery drew more mail than any other story in The New Yorker's history.

In its early decades, the magazine sometimes published two or even three short stories a week, but in recent years the pace has remained steady at one story per issue. While some styles and themes recur more often than others in New Yorker fiction, the magazine's stories are marked less by uniformity than by their variety, and they have ranged from Updike's introspective domestic narratives to the surrealism of Donald Barthelme and from parochial accounts of the lives of neurotic New Yorkers to stories set in a wide range of locations and eras and translated from many languages.

The non-fiction feature articles (which usually make up the bulk of the magazine's content) are known for covering an eclectic array of topics. Recent subjects have included eccentric evangelist Creflo Dollar, the different ways in which humans perceive the passage of time, and Munchausen syndrome by proxy.

The magazine is notable for its editorial traditions. Under the rubric Profiles, it has long published articles about a wide range of notable people, from Ernest Hemingway, Henry R. Luce, and Marlon Brando, to Hollywood restaurateur Michael Romanoff, magician Ricky Jay and mathematicians David and Gregory Chudnovsky. Other enduring features have been "Goings on About Town," a listing of cultural and entertainment events in New York, and "The Talk of the Town," a miscellany of brief pieces—frequently humorous, whimsical or eccentric vignettes of life in New York—written in a breezily light style, although in recent years the section often begins with a serious commentary. For many years, newspaper snippets containing amusing errors, unintended meanings or badly mixed metaphors ("Block That Metaphor") have been used as filler items, accompanied by a witty retort. And despite some changes, the magazine has kept much of its traditional appearance over the decades in typography, layout, covers, and artwork.

Ross was succeeded by William Shawn (1951–1987), followed by Robert Gottlieb (1987–1992) and Tina Brown (1992–1998). Brown's nearly six-year tenure attracted the most controversy, thanks to her high profile (a marked contrast to that of the retiring Shawn) and changes she made to the magazine that had retained a similar look and feel for the previous half century. She included the use of color (several years before The New York Times also adopted color on its pages) and photography, less type on each page and a generally more modern layout. More substantively, she increased the coverage of current events and hot topics such as celebrities and business tycoons and placed short pieces throughout "Goings on About Town," including a racy column about nightlife in Manhattan. A new letters to the editor page and adding authors’ bylines to their "Talk of the Town" pieces had the effect of making the magazine more personal and, along with the other changes, served to erode its perceived reputation for perhaps over-exquisite refinement. The current editor of The New Yorker is David Remnick, who took over in 1998 from Brown. The magazine was acquired by Advance Publications, the media company owned by S.I. Newhouse, in 1985.

The magazine played a role in a major literary scandal and defamation lawsuit over two articles by Janet Malcolm about Sigmund Freud's legacy, that appeared in the 1990s. Questions were raised about the magazine's fact-checking process.[4]

Since the late 1990s, The New Yorker has taken advantage of computer and Internet technologies for the release of current and archival material. The New Yorker maintains a website with some content from the current issue (plus exclusive web-only content). As well, The New Yorker's cartoons are available for purchase online. Using techology developed by Bondi Digital Publishing, a complete digital archive of back issues from 1925 to April 2007 (representing more than 4,000 issues and half a million pages) is available on nine DVD-ROMs or on a small portable hard drive.

A New Yorker look-alike, Novy Ochevidets (The New Eyewitness), was launched in Russia in 2004. It folded in January, 2005 after five months of circulation.

In September 2007, the magazine announced that longtime poetry editor Alice Quinn was leaving and, as of November, Paul Muldoon, an Irish native and U.S. citizen, would be taking over what The Chronicle of Higher Education called "one of the most powerful positions in American poetry".[5]

According to an article about the transition in The New York Times, "The magazine has sometimes been criticized for publishing the same poets repeatedly and playing favorites, but Ms. Quinn said that 85 percent of what she published came to her in the mail 'with little or no notice'. She said that the magazine regularly received more than 600 poems a week."

[edit] Cartoons

The cartoon editor of The New Yorker for years was Lee Lorenz, who first began cartooning in 1956 and became a New Yorker contract contributor in 1958. After serving as the magazine's art editor from 1973 to 1993 (when he was replaced by Françoise Mouly), he continued in the position of cartoon editor until 1998. His book, The Art of the New Yorker: 1925-1995 (Knopf, 1995), was the first comprehensive survey of all aspects of the magazine's graphics. In 1998, Robert Mankoff took over as cartoon editor, and since then Mankoff has edited at least 14 collections of New Yorker cartoons.

The New Yorker's stable of cartoonists has included many important talents in American humor, including Charles Addams, Charles Barsotti, George Booth, Roz Chast, Sam Cobean, Helen E. Hokinson, Ed Koren, Mary Petty, George Price, Charles Saxon, Otto Soglow, Saul Steinberg, William Steig, Richard Taylor, Barney Tobey, James Thurber, Richard Decker and Gahan Wilson.

Many early New Yorker cartoonists did not caption their own cartoons. In his book The Years with Ross, James Thurber describes the newspaper's weekly art meeting, where cartoons submitted over the previous week would be brought up from the mail room to be gone over by Ross, the editorial department, and a number of staff writers. Cartoons would often be rejected or sent back to artists with requested amendments, while others would be accepted and captions written for them. Some artists hired their own writers; Helen Hokinson hired James Reid Parker in 1931. (Brendan Gill relates in his book Here at The New Yorker that at one point in the early 1940s, the quality of the artwork submitted to the magazine seemed to improve. It was later found out that the office boy (a teenaged Truman Capote) had been acting as a volunteer art editor, dropping pieces he didn't like down the far edge of his desk.)[6]

Several of the magazine's cartoons have climbed to a higher plateau of fame. One 1928 cartoon drawn by Carl Rose and captioned by E.B. White shows a mother telling her daughter, "It's broccoli, dear." The daughter responds, "I say it's spinach and I say the hell with it." Three years later, the Broadway musical Face the Music featured a musical number named "I Say It's Spinach".[7] The catch phrase "back to the drawing board" originated with the 1941 Peter Arno cartoon showing an engineer walking away from a crashed plane, saying, "Well, back to the old drawing board."[8][9]

The most reprinted is Peter Steiner's 1993 drawing of two dogs at a computer, with one saying, "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog." According to Mankoff, Steiner and the magazine have split more than $100,000 in fees paid for the licensing and reprinting of this single cartoon, with more than half going to Steiner.[10][11]

Over seven decades, many hardcover compilations of cartoons from The New Yorker have been published, and in 2004, Mankoff edited The Complete Cartoons of The New Yorker, a 656-page collection with 2004 of the magazine's best cartoons published during 80 years, plus a double CD set with all 68,647 cartoons ever published in the magazine. This features a search function allowing readers to search for cartoons by a cartoonist's name or by year of publication. The newer group of cartoonists in recent years includes Pat Byrnes, Frank Cotham, Michael Crawford, Joe Dator, Drew Dernavich, J.C. Duffy, Carolita Johnson, Zachary Kanin, Glen Le Lievre, Michael Maslin, Ariel Molvig, Paul Noth, David Sipress, Mick Stevens, Julia Suits, Christopher Weyant and Jack Ziegler. The notion that some New Yorker cartoons have punchlines so non sequitur that they are impossible to understand became a subplot in the Seinfeld episode "The Cartoon", as well as a playful jab in an episode of The Simpsons, "The Sweetest Apu".

In April 2005 the magazine began using the last page of each issue for "The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest." Captionless cartoons by The New Yorker's regular cartoonists are printed each week. Captions are submitted by readers, and three are chosen as finalists. Readers then vote on the winner, and any U.S. resident age 18 or older can vote. Each contest winner receives a print of the cartoon (with the winning caption), signed by the artist who drew the cartoon.

[edit] Politics

Traditionally, the magazine's politics have been liberal. In its November 1, 2004 issue, the magazine broke with 80 years of precedent and issued a formal endorsement of Kerry in a long editorial, signed "The Editors", which specifically criticized the policies of the Bush administration.[12] The magazine endorsed Barack Obama in another long editorial, signed "The Editors" in the October 13, 2008 issue, criticizing both George W. Bush and John McCain.[13]

[edit] Films

The magazine's former editor, William Shawn, is portrayed in Capote (2005) and Infamous (2006). The magazine has been the source of a number of films. Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) was adapted from Sally Benson's short stories. The Swimmer (1968), starring Burt Lancaster, was based on a John Cheever short story from The New Yorker, and Brian De Palma's Casualties of War (1989) began as a New Yorker article by Daniel Lang. Charlie Kaufman based Adaptation (2002) on Susan Orlean's The Orchid Thief, which she first wrote for The New Yorker. Brokeback Mountain (2005) is an adaptation of the short story by Annie Proulx which first appeared in the October 13, 1997 issue of The New Yorker, and The Namesake (2007) was similarly based on Jhumpa Lahiri's novel which originated as a short story in the magazine. Away From Her, adapted from Alice Munro's short story "The Bear Came Over The Mountain," debuted at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. In Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, a film about the celebrated Algonquin Round Table starring Jennifer Jason Leigh as Dorothy Parker, Sam Robards portrays founding editor Harold Ross trying to drum up support for his fledgling publication.

[edit] Style

One uncommonly formal feature of the magazine's in-house style is the placement of diaeresis marks in words with repeating vowels—such as reëlected and coöperate—in which the two vowel letters indicate separate vowel sounds. The magazine also continues to use a few spellings that are otherwise little used, such as "focusses" and "venders".

The magazine does not put the titles of plays or books in italics but simply sets them off with quotation marks. When referring to other publications that include locations in their names, it uses italics only for the "non-location" portion of the name, such as the Los Angeles Times or the Chicago Tribune.

Formerly, when a word or phrase in quotation marks came at the end of a phrase or clause that ended with a semicolon, the semicolon would be put before the trailing quotation mark; now, however, the magazine follows the universally observed style and puts the semicolon after the second quotation mark.

The New Yorker's signature display typeface, used for its nameplate and headlines and the masthead above The Talk of the Town section, is Irvin, named after its creator, the designer-illustrator Rea Irvin.[14]

[edit] Contributors

[edit] Audience

A recent report indicates that there were 996,000 subscribers in 2004.[15] The total number of subscribers has been increasing at about a 3% annual pace over the last several years. Despite the magazine's New York focus, its subscription base is expanding geographically; in 2003 there were more subscribers in California (167,000) than in New York (166,000) for the first time in the magazine's history. The average age of subscribers rose from 46.8 in 2004 to 48.4 in 2005, compared with a rise of 43.8 to 44.0 for the nation, and a rise from 45.4 to 46.3 for news magazine subscribers. The average household income of a New Yorker subscriber was $80,957 in 2005, while the average income for a U.S. household with a subscription to a news magazine was $67,003.

[edit] Eustace Tilley

The magazine's first cover illustration, of a dandy peering at a butterfly through a monocle, was drawn by Rea Irvin, the magazine's first art editor. The gentleman on the original cover is referred to as "Eustace Tilley," a character created for The New Yorker by Corey Ford. Eustace Tilley was the hero of a series entitled "The Making of a Magazine," which began on the inside front cover of the August 8 issue that first summer. He was a younger man than the figure of the original cover. His top hat was of a newer style, without the curved brim. He wore a morning coat and striped trousers. Ford borrowed Eustace Tilley's last name from an aunt—he had always found it vaguely humorous. "Eustace" was selected for euphony, although Ford may have borrowed the name from Eustace Taylor, his fraternity brother from Delta Kappa Epsilon at Columbia College of Columbia University.

Tilley was always busy, and in illustrations by Johann Bull, always poised. He might be in Mexico, supervising the vast farms that grew the cactus for binding the magazine's pages together. The Punctuation Farm, where commas were grown in profusion, because Ross had developed a love of them, was naturally in a more fertile region. Tilley might be inspecting the Initial Department, where letters were sent to be capitalized. Or he might be superintending the Emphasis Department, where letters were placed in a vise and forced sideways, for the creation of italics. He would jump to the Sargasso Sea, where by insulting squids he got ink for the printing presses, which were powered by a horse turning a pole. It was told how in the great paper shortage of 1882 he had saved the magazine by getting society matrons to contribute their finery. Thereafter dresses were made at a special factory and girls employed to wear them out, after which the cloth was used for manufacturing paper. Raoul Fleischmann, who had moved into the offices to protect his venture with Ross, gathered the Tilley series into a promotion booklet. Later, Ross took a listing for Eustace Tilley in the Manhattan telephone directory.

The character has become a kind of mascot for The New Yorker, frequently appearing in its pages and on promotional materials. Traditionally, Rea Irvin's original Tilley cover illustration is reused every year on the issue closest to the anniversary date of February 21, though on several occasions a newly drawn variation has been substituted.

[edit] Covers

[edit] "View of the World" cover

Saul Steinberg created 85 covers and 642 internal drawings and illustrations for the magazine. His most famous work is probably its March 29, 1976 cover, an illustration titled "View of the World from 9th Avenue," sometimes referred to as "A Parochial New Yorker's View of the World" or "A New Yorker's View of the World," which depicts a map of the world as seen by self-absorbed New Yorkers.

The illustration is split in two, with the bottom half of the image showing Manhattan's 9th Avenue, 10th Avenue, and the Hudson River (appropriately labeled), and the top half depicting the rest of the world. The rest of the United States is the size of the three New York City blocks and is drawn as a square, with a thin brown strip along the Hudson representing "Jersey", the names of five cities (Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, Kansas City, and Chicago) and three states (Texas, Utah, and Nebraska) scattered among a few rocks for the U.S. beyond New Jersey. The Pacific Ocean, perhaps half again as wide as the Hudson, separates the U.S. from three flattened land masses labeled China, Japan and Russia.

The illustration—humorously depicting New Yorkers' self-image of their place in the world, or perhaps outsiders' view of New Yorkers' self-image—inspired many similar works, including the poster for the 1984 film Moscow on the Hudson; that movie poster led to a lawsuit, Steinberg v. Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc., 663 F. Supp. 706 (S.D.N.Y. 1987), which held that Columbia Pictures violated the copyright that Steinberg held on his work.

The cover was later satirized over by Barry Blitt for the cover of the New Yorker on October 6, 2008. The cover featured Sarah Palin looking out of her window seeing only Alaska and in the very background Russia cover.[16]

[edit] "New Yorkistan"

In December 2001 issue the magazine printed a cover by Maira Kalman and Rick Meyerowitz showing a map of New York in which various neighborhoods were labeled with humorous names reminiscent of Middle Eastern and Central Asian place names and referencing the neighborhood's real name or characteristics (e.g. "Fuhgeddabouditstan," "Botoxia"). The cover had some cultural resonance in the wake of September 11 and became a popular print and poster.

[edit] Controversial covers

[edit] Crown Heights in 1993

For the 1993 Valentine's Day issue, the magazine printed a cover by Art Spiegelman depicting a Black woman and a Hasidic Jewish man kissing, referencing the Crown Heights riot of 1991.[17][18] The cover was criticized by both Black and Jewish observers.[19] Salzman and West describe the reaction to the cover as the magazine's "first national controversy."[20]

[edit] Obama in 2008

"The Politics of Fear," a cartoon by Barry Blitt featured on the cover of the July 21, 2008 issue, depicts then presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama in the turban and salwar kameez typical of many Muslims, fist bumping with his wife, Michelle, portrayed with an Afro and wearing camouflage trousers with an AK-47 assault rifle slung over her back. They are standing in the Oval Office, with a portrait of Osama Bin Laden hanging on the wall and an American flag burning in the fireplace in the background.[21]

Some of Obama's supporters as well as his presumptive Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain, accused the magazine of publishing an incendiary cartoon helping strengthen the rumors and misconceptions in support of his detractors. In April 2008, a Pew Research poll showed that 10 percent of American voters still believe Obama is a Muslim despite his adherence to the Christian faith. [22] Editor-in-chief David Remnick said: "The intent of the cover is to satirize the vicious and racist attacks and rumors and misconceptions about the Obamas that have been floating around in the blogosphere and are reflected in public opinion polls. What we set out to do was to throw all these images together, which are all over the top and to shine a kind of harsh light on them, to satirize them,"[23] but acknowledged the concern that it can be misunderstood, particularly by those unfamiliar with the magazine.[24][25] Obama, in an interview on Larry King Live shortly after the magazine issue began circulating, said that he understood the satire, but was disappointed by the results saying, "Well, I know it was The New Yorker's attempt at satire... I don't think they were entirely successful with it... I do think that, you know, in attempting to satirize something, they probably fueled some misconceptions about me instead." [26][27]

The New Yorker Obama cover would later be parodied by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert on the October 3, 2008, cover of Entertainment Weekly magazine, with Stewart as Obama and Colbert as Michelle, photographed exclusively for the magazine in New York City on September 18.[28]

New Yorker covers are usually not related to the contents of the magazine, or only tangentially so. In this case, the article in the July 21, 2008 issue about Obama did not discuss the attacks and rumors, but rather Obama's political career to date. The New Yorker later endorsed Obama for president.

[edit] See also

[edit] Books

  • Ross and the New Yorker by Dale Kramer (1951)
  • The Years with Ross by James Thurber (1959)
  • Ross, the New Yorker and Me by Jane Grant (1968)
  • Here at The New Yorker by Brendan Gill (1975)
  • About the New Yorker and Me by E.J. Kahn (1979)
  • Onward and Upward: A Biography of Katharine S. White by Linda H. Davis (1987)
  • At Seventy: More about the New Yorker and Me by E.J. Kahn (1988)
  • Katharine and E.B. White: An Affectionate Memoir by Isabel Russell (1988)
  • The Last Days of The New Yorker by Gigi Mahon (1989)
  • Genius in Disguise: Harold Ross of the New Yorker by Thomas Kunkel (1997)
  • Here But Not Here: My Life with William Shawn and the New Yorker by Lillian Ross (1998)
  • Remembering Mr. Shawn's New Yorker: The Invisible Art of Editing by Ved Mehta (1998)
  • Some Times in America: and a life in a year at the New Yorker by Alexander Chancellor (1999)
  • The World Through a Monocle: The New Yorker at Midcentury by Mary F. Corey (1999)
  • About Town: The New Yorker and the World It Made by Ben Yagoda (2000)
  • Covering the New Yorker: Cutting-Edge Covers from a Literary Institution by Francoise Mouly (2000)
  • Defining New Yorker Humor by Judith Yaross Lee (2000)
  • Gone: The Last Days of the New Yorker, by Renata Adler (2000)
  • Letters from the Editor: The New Yorker's Harold Ross edited by Thomas Kunkel (2000; letters covering the years 1917 to 1951)
  • New Yorker Profiles 1925-1992: A Bibliography compiled by Gail Shivel (2000)
  • NoBrow: The Culture of Marketing - the Marketing of Culture by John Seabrook (2000)
  • Christmas at The New Yorker: Stories, Poems, Humor, and Art (2003)
  • A Life of Privilege, Mostly by Gardner Botsford (2003)
  • Maeve Brennan: Homesick at the New Yorker by Angela Bourke (2004)
  • Let Me Finish by Roger Angell (Harcourt, 2006)

[edit] References

  1. ^ Top 100 ABC magazines by average circulation 2006, First Six Months 2006
  2. ^ Emdashes
  3. ^ Dubuque Journal; The Slight That Years, All 75, Can't Erase, Dirk Johnson, New York Times, August 5, 1999.
  4. ^ Carmody, Deidre. "Despite Malcolm Trial, Editors Elsewhere Vouch for Accuracy of Their Work." The New York Times, May 30, 1993.
  5. ^ [1]Howard, Jennifer, "New Gatekeeper of Poetry at 'The New Yorker' Will Be Princeton Professor" item on the "News blog" of The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 21, 2007, accessed October 6, 2007
  6. ^ Gill, Brendan. Here at The New Yorker. New York: Berkley Medallion Press, 1976. P. 341.
  7. ^ Gill, op.cit., P. 220.
  8. ^ Maslin, Michael. "Finding Arno."
  9. ^ Cartoon at Cartoonbank
  10. ^ Fleishman, Glenn (2000-12-14). "Cartoon Captures Spirit of the Internet". The New York Times. Retrieved on 2007-10-01. 
  11. ^ Peter Steiner's "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog."
  12. ^ "The Talk of the Town" (November 1, 2004)
  13. ^ "The Talk of the Town" (October 13, 2008)
  14. ^ Consuegra, David. American Type Design and Designers. New York: Allworth Press, 2004.
  15. ^ Magazine Audience: 2006 Annual Report | Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ)
  16. ^ The New Yorker October 6 2008
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ Shapiro, Edward S. (2006). Crown Heights: Blacks, Jews, and the 1991 Brooklyn Riot. UPNE. pp. 211. 
  20. ^ Salzman, Jack; Cornel West (1997). Struggles in the Promised Land: Towards a History of Black-Jewish Relations in the United States. Oxford University Press US. pp. 373. 
  21. ^ The Associated Press (July 14, 2008). "New Yorker cover stirs controversy". 
  22. ^ Guillermo, Emil (2008-07-17). "Where’s the Racism in ‘New Yorker’ Cover?". AsianWeek. Retrieved on 2008-07-21.
  23. ^ Political Punch
  24. ^ "New Yorker's Obama cover: Is it satire or stereotype?". 2008-07-15. Retrieved on 2008-07-16. 
  25. ^ "Barack Obama New Yorker cover branded tasteless". Marie Claire. 2008-07-16. 
  26. ^ "Democrats' bus heads South to sign up new voters". The Boston Globe. 2008-07-16. 
  27. ^ ABC Jake Tapper of ABC News
  28. ^ "Entertainment Weekly Issue #1014 cover (2008-10-03)". Retrieved on 2008-11-06.

[edit] External links

Wikisource has a list of copyright renewals:

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