The New Yorker as a Weblog

I’m in the middle of reading About Town: The New Yorker and the World It Made by Ben Yagoda. Reading about the 1920s and the 1930s in New York, about the Algonquin Round Table, and about the contents of the Magazine during those days, I’m struck by the degree to which the New Yorker was “weblog like.” Or, to be fair, the degree to which the style and subject of modern weblogs echos the style and subject of the Magazine in those days.

Although I would never suggest any resemblance between what you read here and the missives of E.B. White, reading the internal memos of the day wherein White and Harold Ross and others describe the role of features like Talk of the Town and Newbreaks, I realize the great influence the New Yorker style, and White specifically, has had on my writing.

Just out of interest, how many of you in the Readership are regular New Yorker readers?


Alan's picture
Alan on July 28, 2003 - 20:15 Permalink

One treat on selling the homestead was a subscription to the New Yorker which should be starting up anytime. I like the lack of an apparent theme in the selection of articles from issue to issue — exotic animal farms of Texas and the health effects of hydrogenated fat are two odd but very well written articles I recall. Quality is the only measure. My first read it “Table for Two” (I think it is called) the two or three paragraph restaurant review.

Derek M.'s picture
Derek M. on July 28, 2003 - 20:51 Permalink

I read it every week, these days subject to availability. I was subscribed, but found the bone-headed lunkocracy of subscription ‘fulfillment’ more than I could bear. Indigo has had it about every second week I’ve looked since Tweel’s moved. Peter, if I can find my copy of Harold Ross’s collected letters you’re welcome to borrow it.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on July 28, 2003 - 21:36 Permalink

Derek, I think the “every second week” change can be explained, at least partially, by the June 14/21 issue being a double. Given that we get the magazine on the Monday after the cover date, there was no issue on newsstands last week. The Book Mark on Queen Street seems to be a good, reliable post-Tweel’s source.

Matt's picture
Matt on July 28, 2003 - 21:59 Permalink

Also, the Brighton Clover farm (Norman’s) carries the New Yorker.

Lou Quillio's picture
Lou Quillio on July 28, 2003 - 22:10 Permalink

Noted: “George Orwell’s wartime columns have much in common with today’s blogs &#8230”,, 2003/07/21.

The New Yorker: Subscribed for many years. After devising countless triage strategies for keeping-up with its weekly arrival, eventually I quit renewing a few years back. It was just too much. Tina Brown took it places I wasn’t very interested in anyhow, though it’s improved under David Remnick.

(If you are a print subscriber, take some advice: Always wait until the very last renewal notice before re-upping, or even let it lapse a little. Eventually they offer (“We want you back!”) a year for about $30US, even cheaper for multiple years. Think I had it down to $20 (3yrs/$60) as recently as six years ago. I’d phoned their toll-free subscriber number and asked the girl there for her best offer — and she dickered with me!)

Last: The New Yorker RSS feed, via

Ken's picture
Ken on July 29, 2003 - 00:02 Permalink

In 1993 I submitted some work and recieved a card back saying it won’t we accepted, which in itself was really exciting.

Wayne's picture
Wayne on July 29, 2003 - 00:53 Permalink

Famous rejections…sounds like an interesting topic to blog sometime, Ken…I bet there are some real great confessions out there…we could make it into a “male” thing, as she says…”I can top that!!!”…and I have a few good ones.

Alan's picture
Alan on July 29, 2003 - 18:55 Permalink

Rereading this, is not your observation really that blogs are just short personal essays presented in an organized fashion?

Mike's picture
Mike on February 20, 2004 - 05:18 Permalink

re Lou Quillio’s subscription experience: I’ve been a subscriber for over 15 years. I just received a “renewal voucher” as a “Professional Subscriber”, that offers me a renewal rate of $49.95 for 1 year. One of the many subscription cards that fall out of the magazine offers new subscribers a 1-year rate of $46.00. How’s that for rewarding loyal, long-time subscribers?!