Self Will No Longer Quote Fiction From The New Yorker

Even though self loves the story she is currently reading (Never mind what issue), she has decided:  Anyone who gets a story into The New Yorker doesn’t need someone else to trumpet to the world how good they are.  (You haven’t heard this particular writer’s name before —  it is foreign-sounding —  but it’s not as if she needed validation, my God)

Then, self thinks:  How lucky to be the fiction editor of The New Yorker.  You have all these stories to choose from:  hundreds, even thousands, of stories coming in the slush pile every week, and a staff of interns to cull through those stories and offer you the handful that are absolute pearls.  And from this handful of pearls you get to choose The One.  No wonder the stories are so often brilliant.

The New Yorker was where you first made the acquaintance of Roberto Bolaño.  And Tea Obrecht.  And Haruki Murakami.  And that man who wrote Empire of the Sun (Drat, what is his name now?  Self, the car accident must have made you halfway demented).  They hardly ever seem to publish science fiction.  Maybe Murakami can count as a science fiction writer?

The fiction selections seem to fall into distinct waves.  Decades ago, there was the Latin American Wave (Roberto Bolaño is a one-man wave:  no other writers of similar background, before or since).  There were a few years when you saw a lot of Haruki Murakami stories.  Maybe there were one or two Banana Yoshimoto stories?  Or maybe you are imagining this, and it was really Yoko Ogawa?

For a period of some years, it seemed like there was a Writers-From-Eastern-Europe Wave.

Self thinks the most current identifiable wave is African Writers.  Like that girl with the really long name:  Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Self wonders if W. G. Sebald was ever published by The New Yorker (He probably was).

She wonders if Haruki Murakami counts as an Asian Wave (No)

There were one or two times when self got a personal letter.  The Editor even signed her own name on the letter.  After that, self was so stunned that she kept sending to that same editor, who always politely answered with a personal letter, but it simply never worked.  After four or five years (which is a really long time to be pestering a single editor on the fiction staff of The New Yorker), self saw the writing on the wall.  The thread of the correspondence dropped away.  Now, self doesn’t even know if that editor is still with the magazine.  Her last letter to self was about 10 years ago.

But she might as well say this now:  the story that elicited the personal response was “Picture.” Later, she got another personal response, for “Infected.”  (Both are included in self’s Mayor of the Roses).

(Self thinks it is still OK for her to quote from David Denby or Anthony Lane, because they write about movies.  And who doesn’t want to read everything in the world about movies currently showing?  Self knows she does)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Laugh of the Day

So it’s almost to the long Labor Day weekend (Why is self not rejoicing?  Shouldn’t she just be rolling on the ground with cheer and jubilation?)  Uh, no.  It’s been a rather stress-filled week, as any regular readers of this blog well know.  First of all, she’s had the wonderful experience of speaking to a different State Farm agent, every day.  They all want to know:  How fast were you going?  What could you have done to avoid the accident?  Were you aware of the posted speed limit?  Did you see the other car?  Blah, blah, blah.

Self discovered that the other party has four months to acknowledge liability.  That is the law, quoth self’s ever-sympathetic (NOT!) State Farm agent.

Meanwhile, self’s car is just so, so —  ugly.  Really, self regards the crumpled-in side with revulsion.  What a wonderful word that is:  revulsion.  Perfectly captures self’s emotional response to ugliness.

Good thing self had a chance to check out Eric Snider’s movie reviews today.  She just couldn’t help laughing, especially at these two:

RE:  “Takers”

“Takers” is the kind of movie where tough guys walk away from an explosion, in slow-motion, without looking behind them.  But don’t worry!  It is also the kind of movie where a man leaps sideways, in slow-motion, while firing two guns at the same time!  And where than man is Hayden Christensen!

RE:  “Piranha 3-D”

If you’re going to see the cheesy, over-the-top 80s-style bloodbath that is “Piranha,” 3-D is the way to go.  I don’t care what the fancy-talking apologists say, THIS is what 3-D was made for:  in-your-face gore and nudity.

Eric writes for the website Cinematical. is just his sideline.  But he reminds self of Joe Bob Briggs, who decades ago made self laugh with his most un-PC reviews for the Chronicle’s Datebook.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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