By Thomas Vinciguerra

From its delivery in 1925 to the early days of the chilly warfare, The New Yorker slowly yet without doubt took carry because the country’s so much prestigious, pleasing, and informative general-interest periodical. In Cast of Characters, Thomas Vinciguerra paints a portrait of the magazine’s cadre of fascinating, wisecracking, pushed, afflicted, remarkable writers and editors.

He introduces us to Wolcott Gibbs, theater critic, all-around wit, and writer of an notorious 1936 parody of Time journal. We meet the tough and kooky founding editor Harold Ross, who would normally inform his underlings, "I'm firing you since you will not be a genius," and who as soon as mailed a couple of his undies to Walter Winchell, who had accused him of who prefer to head bare-bottomed lower than his slacks. becoming a member of the solid are the mercurial, blind James Thurber, a super cartoonist and wildly artistic fabulist, and the enigmatic E. B. White—an incomparable prose stylist and Ross's favourite son—who married The New Yorker's bold fiction editor, Katharine Angell. Then there's the rushing St. Clair McKelway, who was once married 5 instances and claimed to haven't any fewer than twelve personalities, yet was once still a great reporter and dealing with editor alike. lots of those characters turned legends of their personal correct, yet Vinciguerra additionally exhibits how, as a bunch, The New Yorker’s internal circle introduced forth a profound transformation in how existence used to be perceived, interpreted, written approximately, and released in America.

Cast of Characters could be the such a lot revealing—and entertaining—book but in regards to the precise personalities who outfitted what Ross referred to as now not yet a "movement."

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Extra resources for Cast of Characters: Wolcott Gibbs, E. B. White, James Thurber, and the Golden Age of The New Yorker

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It is true that our new Theory has modified its syllabi and changed its tone. ” On the whole, globalization has been the most obvious factor to modify the selection of texts studied. For instance, today, it would be impossible to exclude from the syllabus of Theory Achebe’s thoughtful but violent questioning of Conrad’s latent racism in Heart of Darkness. 31 This essay, written in 1975, draws on the anger felt by the Nigerian novelist when discussing the undeniable presence of racist elements in Joseph Conrad’s canonical story Heart of Darkness.

He redoubles the paradox by showing how much of a poet and mimetic artist Plato was, which implies that he should have had to exclude himself from his perfect utopia. Is he thus both faithful to Plato’s original meaning (poets are dangerous and should be excluded from the polis) and twists it in a series of dialectical reversals. Another example of the strategy of “intranslation” would be provided by Badiou’s essay on Beckett’s last trilogy, a text that Beckett had despaired of translating into his “other” language, French.

The notion of “empire” was not born with the British Empire but existed much earlier in China and Africa, albeit with different inflections. The Japanese modernization of the Meiji era entailed inviting an American philosopher to teach Tokyo students the thought of Hegel; this philosopher, Ernest Fenollosa, ended up saving old Buddhist shrines that had been condemned as old-fashioned. He would be forgotten today had not Ezra Pound decided to found his poetics of the image on Fenollosa’s linguistic theories about ideograms, even though they were terribly flawed.

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