My name is Martin. I am currently a freelance copyeditor for certain prestigious university presses. I also regularly review books for Publishers Weekly. I enjoy both of these pastimes quite a bit.
At various times in my life I have worked as a reporter, as an editor of a literary/commerce website, as a teacher, as a translator, as a computer consultant, as a shuttle bus driver, as a short order cook, as a cashier, as a library shelver, as a model, as a roadie, and as a DJ.
I am a native and resident of Westchester County. I attended Vassar College, where I once saw Mary McCarthy give a reading.
“Between the Squibs” is dedicated to interesting material discovered on the Complete New Yorker DVD (also known on this blog as CNY) by enterprising New Yorker fans. If you find such a prospect impossibly effete and pretentious, then this blog may not be for you.
My qualifications for running a blog like this are slender but extant. My father read the New Yorker quite passionately, so the magazine was always around when I was growing up. Phrases like “Gently sir, it’s Mother’s Day” or “I say it’s spinach and I say the hell with it” will unfailingly elicit a smile among my immediate family members.The release of the CNY has been a reminder long overdue of the substantial quality shown by the magazine over the decades.
“Between the Squibs” is in no way endorsed by or otherwise associated with the New Yorker.
A word about my own predilections with respect to the CNY. The New Yorker has had many different phases, and it excels in many different kinds of material. You have the different eras: Ross, Shawn, Gottlieb, Brown, and Remnick. Each enthusiast is going to have his or her own favorite writers, favorite phases, favorite genres. I expect that I will adequately “cover” only certain areas. When I bring forth an image of the New Yorker in my mind, I think it’s Shawn’s New Yorker that materializes. I will concentrate more on nonfiction than fiction, more on Profiles and Letters than criticism or Talk of the Town pieces. My ideal entry would be about a long Profile from the 1960s or 1970s that focuses on a colorful expert in some arcane trade. (If the subject matter is scurrilous, so much the better.) Next best would be an entry about some interesting field of inquiry. When I read the New Yorker, I want to encounter interesting new people, places, facts, ideas. Nobody does it better.
It is my hope that fans of Ross’s New Yorker will find their way to me. People who love the New Yorker‘s fiction and poetry. People who love the Talk pieces above all. I like all of those things too, they’re just not my focus as much as the riveting longer reportorial pieces.
If I Disc 1 (1997-present) is to some extent deemphasized, it is only because part of the goal of “Between the Squibs” is to present entries that are not overly familiar — and most of the demographic interested in this blog will have read the issues that came out in, say, 2000 too recently, making them less fresh then a comparable entry from the 1980s or earlier.