Emdashes—Modern Times Between the Lines

The Basics:
About Emdashes | Email us

Before it moved to The New Yorker:
Ask the Librarians

Best of Emdashes: Hit Parade
A Web Comic: The Wavy Rule


This MediaShift interview by Simon Owens gets it just about right. Archly titled “Vanity Fair, New Yorker Fan Blogs Give Free PR to Conde Nast,” in fact, the piece reflects the delirious allegiance that Vanityfairer’s Sonal Chokshi and I gave our chosen objects. We had no master plan—we were just magazine people in the seeming dusk of print media. We knew we were romanticizing these fallible and human-crafted things, but loved the crap out of them anyway, and our readers let us know we weren’t alone.

More mentions of note:

“Many New York blogs are about New Yorkers; Emdashes is about The New Yorker (mostly). Although it’s an online magazine about a magazine, it has a full life of its own. Along with analyses of each week’s New Yorker contents, it runs its own cartoons, columns, interviews, spot coverage, contests, and so on. Emdashes counts among its many devoted fans The New Yorker itself; the magazine’s head librarians, Jon Michaud and Erin Overbey, started answering reader questions in 2006 in a column on the Emdashes site. (Last year, The New Yorker took over “Ask the Librarians” at its own site.)…” —The Village Voice, “I Blog New York: Your Guide to Gotham’s Best”

“This isn’t some lowbrow gossip site. Don’t poke your musky head in there thinking you’re going to discover what makes John Seabrook ‘tick,’ or be treated to grisly samurai tales about Henry Finder’s ruthless mastery as an editorial infighter. It’s a more belletristic enterprise than that, with a monthly column contributed by the New Yorker’s librarians, whom I believe once tried to have me abducted.” —James Wolcott, vanityfair.com

“It’s been nearly two years since I stumbled across this fresh and imaginative blog created by Emily Gordon. She has dedicated herself to exploring where the em dash (a punctuation mark the length of the letter m) goes: in this case, between the lines and behind the stories of The New Yorker magazine. Emdashes, as with all good blogs, is fueled by obsession. ‘Like me, you read The New Yorker. With interest. Loyally, actively, critically. Ardently,’ wrote Gordon, an editor at PRINT magazine with an impressive freelancer’s pedigree. Two years later, she still fits that profile, and she has added a raft of new features for New Yorker aficionados. For the time-pressed, she provides a welcome service: sifting through the week’s New Yorker for the best and brightest fact, fiction, criticism and poetry…. Perhaps now that I have Emily Gordon as my guide, I will find time for a magazine that rarely disappoints.” —Chip Scanlan, Poynter

“Emily Gordon is a writer and an editor at Print magazine. She also edits Emdashes, a site dedicated to The New Yorker and (more or less) related subjects, from movies to semicolons to Ricky Gervais. The logo and site was designed by none other than uber-fabulous House of Pretty.” —Debbie Millman

“Fans of The New Yorker are a dedicated bunch. They relish its arrival every week, check the bylines, and then dive right into a 20,000-word piece. It’s no wonder this passion for a beloved magazine has spawned a site devoted to its pages past and present. Whip-smart writer Emily Gordon obsessively blogs about all topics great and small related to her favorite periodical…. Whether you’re a cover-to-cover obsessive or just a grazer passionate about “Talk of the Town,” you’ll find Ms. Gordon has created a delicious companion to America’s best magazine.” —Yahoo! Picks (which interviewed Emily)

The New Yorker between the lines is the mission of this site that, though unaffiliated with the magazine, is extremely attuned to its subtext, syntax, and semiotics.” —Manhattan User’s Guide, which named Emdashes one of “The 400”—“a thoroughly subjective selection of 400 links—from institutional websites to single-person blogs—that we think make a distinctive contribution to life in New York.” Later on the site: “The subtext, syntax, and semiotics of The New Yorker.”

“Emdashes [is] a uniquely geeky literary blog devoted to loving The New Yorker. It’s written with style, grace, and the obsessive love that only a true nerd can feel for something that will never, ever help them get laid.” —Jeff Simmermon, And I Am Not Lying

“I get a little too excited about The New Yorker, and sometimes people’s eyes glaze over as I go on and on. It’s nice to go to a place where you all understand the passion.” —Linda Kao (New Yorker reader since 1996, Emdashes reader since 2008)

“A supercool blog about The New Yorker that anyone interested in the magazine’s past, present, and future should be reading.” —Quiet Bubble

“Emdashes is wholly New Yorker-centric, for moments when one wants to read the amusing Q & A with The New Yorker’s librarians, or to ponder issues raised in the magazine. Emily Gordon is a smart and generous blogger; how I feel about The New Yorker depends on the day and the issue.” —Biffles at the Bijou

“Give me quality of writing over quantity of posts any day. That’s one of the reasons I recommend a four-month-old blog on The New Yorker that oozes good stuff. You don’t have to be a refugee from John McPhee’s three-part series on geology to enjoy blogger Emily Gordon’s lovely touch with the language, as she alternately strokes and skewers the masthead.” —Lisa Stone (On fourteen “bloggers you may not know, but should,” for Jay Rosen’s PressThink)

“Read her blog about the magazine and anything else that strikes her fancy. Amazing collection of New Yorker links; nobody can touch Emily’s hard work there.” —Kevin Fitzpatrick, Dorothy Parker Society of New York

“Un blogue qui se consacre à disséquer la réputée snob publication, dans ses moindres détails.” —Sylvie St-Jacques, La Presse

“Most footers are useless. They usually contain a handful of throw-away links, maybe a copyright statement, and contact information. Nobody reads them, because they’re not worth reading…. One of my favorite footers is found on Emily Gordon’s blog. This is a writer’s footer. This is information to be enjoyed. She talks about herself, offering notes on what she’s written and why she’s writing. She directly addresses her reader assuring him of his privacy. When I get to her footer and see all that she offers down there at the bottom of the page, I feel like she expected me to read that far, and is acknowledging my visit. I love that she’s taken the opportunity to offer me more information than I asked for, in a place I didn’t expect to find it. I feel rewarded at the end of reading her blog, and that’s what I call a wonderful user experience.” —Amber Simmons, A List Apart

Miscellaneous press:

In the Toronto Globe & Mail, pronouncing on the DVD archive. They printed a poem by me: “My Mother Saved Copies of The New Yorker.”

In the Baltimore Sun, about town at the New Yorker Festival: “’The New Yorker wants to be the kind of magazine that people love so much that they’re obsessed with it,’ said Emily Gordon…. Gordon was running between festival events all weekend, blogging the readings and performances on her iBook.”

In the Daily News (link no longer active), on that notorious Adam-and-Eve-banished-to-Brooklyn cover.

The full La Presse interview. Test your French!

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