“My God, it’s full of words….”

February 6, 2006

I think we can safely say that it was a good day when I heard that the New Yorker was going to release all of its issues in DVD format. In the autumn of 2005, I bought the Complete New Yorker (CNY) set, and I’ve been enjoying it with gusto ever since.

Most of the reviewers who praised the CNY made reference to the futility of actually trying to read all of it. The number of issues (4,109) was often mentioned. It is certainly a daunting number. If you spend every single evening reading one issue, you will be nearing the end in the year 2016. (Once you finished that, you’d still have to continue the exercise for another year and a half to catch up with the issues released since autumn 2005.)

As I eagerly consumed my fill of the excellent articles, I often wished for some sort of online directory, blog, wiki, or catalog containing the favorite finds of some industrious person. Of course, this worked in two directions: after reading a particularly satisfying article in the CNY, I also wished that there were an obvious place where I could post the find.

Strangely enough, I never found any such directory, and Amazon’s comments page for the product wasn’t exactly doing it for me. So I’m starting my own.

This blog is herewith dedicated to the collection of discerning recommendations of treasures to be found in the CNY. Articles, Talk of the Town pieces, Cartoons, Advertisements, Squibs, you name it. If you stumbled on it in the CNY, and you think people should know about it, drop me a line. I promise to do my share of the recommending.

This will also be a place where people can discuss and debate the DVD collection itself. I am aware that there has already been considerable annoyance expressed in some quarters about various technical quirks and legal ambiguities concerning the collection, and — provided that the tone remains civil — I would like consumers of the DVD to consider this blog a potential resource for such topics. Having said that, I should state that I am relatively not very bothered by such matters, and I will not allow this blog to become a place for wholesale trashing of the project.

Eventually I would like to see this blog (should it find palpable response) turn into a collective enterprise, but for the time being I will be in charge of it.

So onward! I have plenty of articles I want to pass on, and I sincerely hope you do as well. This blog will never work if it remains a one-way street. Welcome!