Hi, everyone, welcome back.
This week’s MoW is a New York regular, bred here and all about here. The New Yorker was launched in 1925 as a thinking person’s humor magazine with New York City as its focus. Its creators, Harold Ross and Jane Grant, supported many of the best writers of the first half of the 20th century. Ross remained the editor of the title until his death in 1951. Under Ross’ tenure, the title grew to be known for in-depth discussion of contemporary issues, in addition to its publication of short fiction, single-frame cartoons, and poetry.
Ross and Grant were both members of the literary circle that lunched at the Algonquin Hotel together for most of the 1920s, and many of the “Vicious Circle” as they called themselves, wrote for the New Yorker at one time or another. Other members of the Algonquin circle also contributed regularly to the New Yorker, including Dorothy Parker, Franklin Pierce Adams, and Robert Benchley.
The magazine has notable regular features, including “Goings On About Town”, reviews of current theatre, music, film, and dance. Others such as “Talk of the Town” and “Shouts and Murmurs” present vignettes about the oddities of NYC life, told in a breezy ironic style. Another popular feature is the in-depth biographical series “Profiles” which has featured such cultural icons as Ernest Hemingway, restaurateur Michael Romannoff, and mathematicians David and Gregory Chudnovsky. In addition, the magazine has published short stories by many of the important writers of their days, including Truman Capote, E.B. White, Alice Munro, J.D. Salinger, and Annie Proulx and Jhumpa Lahiri.
The New Yorker has gone through many changes in its years. Various editors have tinkered with style and format. Most notably Tina Brown brought the title (somewhat) back to its humorous roots and revived the custom topical covers for the title. Many famous cartoonists have worked for the magazine over the years, including Charles Adams, who inspired the Adams Family television show and movies with his creepy-but-droll illustrations. Booth, the creator of the chaotic Santa and reindeer on the right, is a favorite of mine. I chose the issue above as tribute to Ms. Aretha Franklin, who died August 16, 2018.