In spite of her ubiquity — she’s sold an estimated four hundred and fifty million books — J.K. Rowling is known for being a private person who does relatively few interviews; but with The Casual Vacancy, her first novel geared toward adults due out on Thursday, she sat down with The New Yorker’s Ian Parker for a massive profile that is now available for free online. Assuming that most muggles won’t have the patience to wade through all ten pages of the piece, we’ve plucked out a few of the highlights below. Check them out, and let us know in the comments if you plan on picking up Rowling’s latest, which apparently is already setting pre-order records. … Read More
The New Yorker
Exciting news for fans of The New Yorker: Thanks to a newly-launched app, you can now painlessly page through the magazine on your iPhone and because of tech advances with the way it handles paginated HTML, each issue will download to your phone a lot faster than the current iPad version of the mag. But wait, it gets even better! The New Yorker commissioned Lena Dunham to make a short film explaining the app and how to use it, and somehow, she roped Jon Hamm in on the project. Among the topics that they discuss in the resulting clip: the prospect of Hamm getting into Dunham’s “challenging” pants and how The New Yorker is like a horrible version of Rolling Stone. We have but one question: Will anyone in their audience who actually needs this kind of tutorial going to know who either of these guys are? Regardless, it’s pretty funny, so enjoy! … Read More
In some decidedly happier New Yorker news than what’s been circulating since the Jonah Lehrer fabrication scandal broke, this week’s issue includes a previously unpublished story by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Titled “Thank You for the Light,” the short piece follows a traveling undergarment saleswoman who just wants to enjoy a cigarette, for heaven’s… Read More
While the self-plagiarism charges leveled against New Yorker wunderkind Jonah Lehrer last month may have fallen into an ethical gray area, the writer’s misconduct was blatant enough in his new book, Imagine: How Creativity Works, to end his career at the magazine. Following the publication today of a Tablet article proving… Read More
In this phenomenal and rare long interview conducted by New Yorker writer Jeremy Bernstein, which we discovered over at Open Culture, Stanley Kubrick talks about how he had “few intellectual interests as a child,” and “was a school misfit,” as well as his early interest in photography, his early film work and his feature films, including Paths of Glory, Lolita and Dr. Strangelove. Though Kubrick didn’t generally like giving long interviews, Bernstein got him interested by playing chess with him while they talked. However, it was Kubrick who suggested they tape it. “My interviews were done before tape recorders were commonplace,” Bernstein later wrote. “I certainly didn’t have one. Kubrick did. He did all his script writing by talking into it. He said that we should use it for the interviews. Later on, when I used a quote from the tape he didn’t like, he said, ‘I know it’s on the tape, but I will deny saying it anyway.’” Only you, Stanley Kubrick. … Read More
If you’re a New Yorker subscriber, we probably don’t have to tell you about “The Yankee Comandante,” David Grann’s lengthy feature that ran in the magazine’s May 28th issue. Filling 23 tightly packed pages, the piece relates the strange tale of William Alexander Morgan, an American who fought alongside the rebels in the… Read More
We recently took issue with the sizable, baffling group of A Clockwork Orange cultists who seem to think the novel’s “ultraviolent” protagonist, Alex, is the height of cool. To idolize this character is to seriously misunderstand the story Anthony Burgess is telling — but what did the author actually want readers to get out of… Read More
Yesterday, the American Society of Magazine Editors announced the finalists for the 2012 National Magazine Awards, which judge American publications as a whole as well as specific articles within them. Bloomberg Businessweek, GQ, New York, The New Yorker and Vice are all nominated for overall excellence in the field of general interest magazines, Glamour, More, O, The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple and W are nominated for women’s interest, and The American Scholar, Aperture, IEEE Spectrum, The New Republic and Virginia Quarterly Review are nominated in the “Thought-Leader” category.
You should take a peek at those titles at your leisure, and check out the full list of finalists here, but we were more interested in the finalists in most of the major article categories. We’ve put together a handy list for you, with links to the nominated work. Yet again, we were flabbergasted and discouraged by the lack of female writers here — of the categories we looked at, they are only nominated in the Public Interest and Fiction sections. Regardless, there’s a lot of good writing here, so click through to get a handle on the ASME nominees, and let us know who you think should take home the prizes in the comments. … Read More
We’ve been thinking a lot about Art Spiegelman lately, in part because the comic artist’s first major Paris retrospective recently opened at Centre Pompidou, the city’s biggest modern art museum. The exhibition, entitled Art Spiegelman: Co-Mix, spans the artist’s 45-year career and contains over 400 original cartoons, sketches, book and magazine covers, and other Spiegelman ephemera (check out a few early photos of the exhibit at Angoulême, where it originated, here). Though Spiegelman is perhaps best known for Maus, his Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic memoir, he’s also created countless covers for The New Yorker, where he worked for ten years, founded the famous underground comics magazine RAW with his wife Françoise Mouly, and had his hand in hundreds of other projects. We’ve been fans of the cartoonist since we were kids, so we decided to take the opportunity to do our own totally incomplete, biased mini-retrospective of some of the artist’s illustrations and projects. Click through to check out a few images from Spiegelman’s enormous body of work, and if you can’t make it to Paris, have no fear – the exhibition will hit Cologne, Vancouver, and New York in the coming months. … Read More
If you’ve paid much attention to film festival coverage over the past few months, you’ve probably heard a thing or two about a film called The Raid (it was later given the rather silly subtitle Redemption, though I’ll be damned if I recall anybody being redeemed in it). It screened at Toronto, Sundance, and SXSW, and it is a knockout — a powder keg of pure action, done with deadpan humor and hyperkinetic style. I saw it at an all-media screening at Sundance, and even among that jaded group, the audience literally gasped at loud at several points, and burst into applause at the end. It’s terrific cinema.
And that’s why so many people who have seen it are losing their shit over Roger Ebert’s inexplicable one-star review of the movie, which went online last night. He complains about the film’s “wall-to-wall violence,” cracks that “if I estimated the film has 10 minutes of dialogue, that would be generous,” and says that the picture is “almost brutally cynical in its approach.” This coming from a guy who gave three stars to Transformers and most of the Fast/Furious franchise.
Then again, as much as we love Mr. Ebert, this isn’t the first time he got a great movie dead wrong. His one-star pan of Blue Velvet is still a head-scratcher; ditto the single star he awarded Wet Hot American Summer. And don’t even get us started on that two-star review of the original Die Hard. The point is, sometimes the critics just plain get it wrong. After the jump, we’ll take a look at a dozen classic movies, and the scribes who blew the call on them. … Read More