Tuesday, October 25, 2005

oct 17 issue "overheard in the new yorker offices"

John Updike (puzzling to himself and tapping on the keyboard): "Hm . . . Hey Schjeldahl, you might be able to answer this, what's uh, you know, modernism?"

Peter Schjeldahl: "Uh, I think its, like, you know, "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon" and "The Waste Land" and all that stuff."

This because Schjeldahl cites these two works as properly modern on p. 168 and Updike cites the exact same two works as properly modern on p. 170. Granted, they aren't making controversial claims, but the editors do need to keep us from getting bored. What is this, fill in the blanks?

Actually, the whole issue reads like "Modernisms Greatest Hits," or maybe just the parts I read. Which goes to show you . . . more on the "Art and Architecture" issue later.

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