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


The song is ended

Filed under: On the Spot   Tagged: , , , , ,

But the melody lingers on, at least for cptave, winner of the eBay auction for the inaugural issue of The New Yorker. One might ask, does virtue indeed have its reward? Mr., Ms., Dr., Monsignor, Father, Sister, or Captain cptave, who has an approval rating of nearly 99 percent, has earned such praise as "you are dealing with the best," "BEE-YOU-TEE-FUL," and "A+++++++++++." How much better does it get than that, at least without adding more plus signs? Well, despite my crushing bitterness at sitting out the auction of my dreams, I must honor my promise to salute the winner, and I do, I do tip my hat to anyone who's willing to hand over $442 (the winning bid) for a rare treasure like this. Tremendous as the forthcoming archive of the entire magazine is, there's nothing like holding an old issue in your hands, turning the pages, wondering at the more of-the-moment cartoons (the evergreen above is from said début issue), marveling at the full-page, brightly colored liquor and tobacco ads ("Yoo hoo, Ponsonby! Look at the present I just got...a bottle of Calvert Reserve!" cries a near-naked man running through the snow, to his butler), buying a war bond or two for good measure, and generally feeling like your grandparents, whether they read the NYer or not. My own well-preserved Olde Issue of December 12, 1942 (which features, among many other delightful things, Joseph Mitchell's "Professor Sea Gull" and a poem titled "Oh, to Be an Amoeba"), gives me just this sensation. Well, I'll face facts: I'm crazy jealous. But as the Rolling Stones once said, Though you can't always get what you want, you can want it as vocally as necessary till the next auction comes along. Which, if things go well, will be in my lifetime.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, it may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Thanks for waiting.)

2008 Webby Awards Official Honoree