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City of the Semi-Silents

Filed under: Eustace Google   Tagged: , ,

The clever and enjoyable rejected-Talk site Silence of the City has been around for a while now (on my "Rossosphere" list, for instance); in any case, the Voice has just written about it:

Rejection, of course, is simply a rite of passage for most writers. For [Mac] Montandon, though, it formed the seed of an idea. Since there was no shortage of writers like him who'd tried and failed to make The New Yorker's pages, he figured there was an abundance of unpublished Talk stories lying around New York City. About a year ago he set out to provide a home for the orphan submissions, quietly launching silenceofthecity.com, where he resurrects the unpublished contributions of Talk of the Town rejectees. Montandon insists the site is every bit a tribute to The New Yorker, not a parody of it. It maintains the look and feel of the magazine's signature section down to the font and, in the top left corner, the profile of Eustace Tilly, the aristocratic fellow who appeared on the cover of The New Yorker's first issue in February 1925 (and on many others since). On Silence, however, Tilly trades his monocle for an eye patch to reinforce the theme of the site—work that under other circumstances wouldn't have seen the light of day.

Though Montandon has yet to receive any feedback from The New Yorker about Silence of the City and was unsure whether anyone there had even come across it, staffers at the magazine have been aware of the site for some time. "We were flattered by it more than anything," says Lauren Collins, a 26-year-old New Yorker staffer who writes for Talk of the Town and assists in putting the section together. "I think it's good-humored and a fun spoof on what we do."

Keep reading. When I corresponded with the friendly Montandon (who encouraged people to submit) back in January, I asked him if he was related to the villanous Montandons of Sean Wilsey's unforgettable memoir, Oh, the Glory of It All; fortunately for him, probably (if not for Sean), he's not.

The Voice story is by Dan Schulman; link via Romenesko. Thanks for the tip, Jeff! Hope your northern travels are going swimmingly.


silence of the city is neat … but i can’t believe the writers really read the talks first. crazy masochists.

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