Emdashes—Modern Times Between the Lines

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Before it moved to The New Yorker:
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Best of Emdashes: Hit Parade
A Web Comic: The Wavy Rule


It’s practically champagne (OK, OK, Champagne): Jesse Thorn interviewing George Saunders with a live audience. It’s fizzy! Check out The Sound of Young America’s dramatization (featuring a sparkling cast with great legs: Andy Daly, Jen Kirkman, Jonathan Coulton, James Adomian, John Hodgman, Maria Bamford, Jonathan Katz, Dan Klein, and Xeni Jardin) of Saunders’s “Ask the Optimist.” At its best, Gawker’s snarly, goofy “The Unethicist” has something of its flavor.

Speaking of New Year’s, the stylish Rea Irvin shows us how to celebrate it in style—1867- and 1917-style, that is—in two contrasting cartoons. Thanks to ABCs of Art for the excellent link! Who says there’s nothing on the web this week? (Like this positive review of the William Steig show at the Jewish Museum, complete with illicit but tender photos.)

I dug this City Room sampling of hundred-year-old Times stories: “And readers who think they remember this newspaper as the Old Gray Lady might want to recall some of the fairy tale yarns that made the front pages at New Year’s 1908.” Seriously, they’re great. Now, add links!

Frank Bruni enthuses today about a new book I also heartily recommend:
The book I was happiest to find in my mail was “Secret Ingredients: The New Yorker Book of Food and Drink,” which was just published. It’s edited by David Remnick, the magazine’s editor. It’s chewy: more than 575 pages of nonfiction and fiction writing that appeared in the New Yorker over many decades. And you couldn’t ask for a more diverse, dazzling collection of writers, some of whom wrote or write primarily about food, others of whom dabble or dabbled in culinary musings only occasionally. In these pages you’ll find M.F.K Fisher, Joseph Wechsberg, A.J. Liebling, John McPhee, Calvin Trillin, Bill Buford, Nora Ephron, Janet Malcolm, Don DeLillo, Louise Erdrich, Julian Barnes, Steve Martin, Malcolm Gladwell. I could go on and on, and I plan to dip into this book for a good long time to come. By which I mean: forever.
I did give it as a Christmas present, by the way. Stay tuned for the recipients’ reviews!

Here’s a caption contest finalist that Texans are cheering for, and some spirited reminiscences of Bill Buford’s Granta on the occasion of the magazine’s hundredth issue.

In the final hours of 2007, take a moment of silence for the Cincinnati Post. And another for Robert “Buck” Brown, the cartoonist who passed away this year. Here’s an obituary from BlackAmericaWeb’s list of “the Black Icons, Known and Unknown, Who Passed in ‘07.” I like that, icons known and unknown.
Robert “Buck” Brown, 71, one of the first “crossover” African-American cartoonists, whose work appeared in Playboy magazine over four decades, died July 7. Playboy printed more than 600 of Brown’s cartoons, including one that appeared in the magazine’s August issue. His daughter, Tracy Hill, told the Associated Press that Brown sold thousands more to other publications. Brown’s work also appeared in Ebony, Jet, the New Yorker, Esquire and the Chicago Sun-Times.
Mike Lynch has a more detailed post that includes a link to a longer bio of Brown at the site The History Makers.

Happy new year, everyone! And happy third birthday to us again! It’s our once-a-year day, and everyone’s entitled to be wild, be a child, be a goof, raise the roof, once a year! And for success, love, health, and, of course, wealth in 2008, you need look no further than this story by George Singleton in the Oxford American: “How to Write Stories…And Lose Weight, Clean up the Environment, and Make a Million Dollars.” Can’t wait!

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