12.30.2009

David Levine 1926-2009

When I was in college, I subscribed to the New York Review of Books, as it seemed like the intellectual think to do. I enjoyed it, for the most part, although I followed about 40% of what the critics were saying. I liked how it made me think, and the fact that a lot the reviewers built their critiques on theories I had yet to explore encouraged me to investigate more. The NYRB was often the carrot dangling in front of my intellect. Yet the NYRB had the reek of dusty curtains and Lionel Trilling, and I preferred to skip through flowery fields of my classes, like Dorothy off to see the wizard, or wizards, as it were, and didn't let myself get too intimidated by its content

The things that balanced out all the high-falutin' verbiage of the NYRB were the illustrations of David Levine. His illustrations provided a level of satire to the articles that added a levity to the density, and gave the publication a vehicle with which to wink at its readers as if to say, "We don't take ourselves that seriously."  And that message is the valuble take away.

2 comments:

  1. re your comment:
    "When I was in college, I subscribed to the New York Review of Books, as it seemed like the intellectual think to do. I enjoyed it, for the most part, although I followed about 40% of what the critics were saying. I liked how it made me think, and the fact that a lot the reviewers built their critiques on theories I had yet to explore encouraged me to investigate more. The NYRB was often the carrot dangling in front of my intellect".
    Me too. No longer though. I scan it online these days. It is a bit too much entrenched in the literary culture for me
    Gary Sauer-Thompson
    junk for code

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  2. never thought to check it out online! cool!

    ReplyDelete