One of the things I wanted for this section from the beginning was stylish, intellectual writing about popular culture. This is ground none of our competitors was tilling, not the New Yorker nor the New York Review or the New Republic. I’m convinced that popular culture â€” the manners and mores of a lot of our readers, in other words â€” is something worth delving into….
In New York, there are a lot of magazines, including our main rivals, drawing on the same talent month after month. I’ve long thought that L.A. is an underexploited literary field. It has an extraordinarily large pool of highly educated and talented people thinking in very interesting ways about contemporary culture. It’s a much more interesting place than Boston, for example. Our long residence here has given us a not-entirely-undeserved staid and New Englandy image we’re now putting behind us.
(Link via I Want Media.)
We wish him well; we hope the blogosphere doesn’t have to take him down. Because they will if they have to. They can do anything. Except maybe get Sullivan his job back at The Magazine. Which is a shame; we really miss all the articles shilling for the pharmaceutical industry.
Coincidentally, Andrew Sullivan and others have some advice for the new editor.
In etymological news, John Simpson, chief editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, selects ten words with unusual origins–for instance, “dunce is a word which, like many others, has more or less completely reversed its meaning. It is originally found (from the early 16th century) was ‘Duns man’, a disciple or follower of the philosopher and theologian Duns Scotus. A Duns man was a sophisticated thinker, a subtle reasoner – hence, in time, a hairsplitting cavilling sophist.” (Via Caterina.)
I’m wondering how many would-be writers will pack up and move to a new neighborhood on the basis of this article.
If moving to Park Slope doesn’t land you your book deal, keep in mind that the International 3-Day Novel Writing Contest is happening soon. The “Grand Prize is an offer of publication and instantaneous fame.” (Via Caterina.)