I came across a story from The New Yorker magazine a while back. One of the stories from my online contemporary literature course had been taken from the magazine, so I started perusing it online. I had forgotten how much I loved the writing in it, so I bought a subscription.
First I bought a subscription on my Kindle, because I thought nothing could be neater that waking up on Monday morning and having the latest The New Yorker already waiting for me. That was shortly before I realized that I don't really like reading on the Kindle, particularly not a magazine. The stories were just as entertaining, but I don't know...... I just missed the feel of turning those pages. Besides, all the cartoons were lumped together at the end, and that just felt wrong.
Therefore I splurged on the paper version of the magazine, and the glossy, beautifully decorated, witticism-filled pages started arriving in my mailbox.
What was I thinking?
I should have known from my flirtations with Sports Illustrated and Time and Newsweek that I just couldn't maintain the commitment involved with a weekly publication. I stacked them up, in order by date, and promised myself that I wouldn't read anything else until I had caught up on my New Yorkers.
It's like having homework. I haven't read one in I don't know how long, and they just sit there taunting me. I can't throw them out, because that's too much like throwing money in the trash. Unlike having purchased a magazine that I don't read, which isn't wasteful at all.
Of the (two or three) that I actually read, the fiction disappointed me. It wasn't at all like the cool, thought-provoking story in my contemporary lit class that had prompted all this literary madness. I did, however, come across a poem that I liked, and I cut it out (!) and put it in my calendar.
It's called: "If a Clown"
Don't tell the president of the English Teachers' Club, but this is how I typically respond to poetry. I'll come across something I like, I'll cut it out, and sometimes I'll share it. I don't feel compelled to analyze it for literary devices such as alliteration, symbolism, imagery, simile, metaphor, hyperbole, square roots, chemical reactions, global economics, verb conjugation, fuel mixture ratio, or anything else. I either like it or I don't. Here's another one I liked a lot: "Pride" by Dahlia Ravokovitch. I can't tell you definitely why either of these poems spoke to me. They just did. That's why I find it hard to teach poetry to young people. I can teach them the techniques and the literary devices, but I don't think it's up to me to make a poem speak to anyone else.
Where was I? Oh yeah....... Back to The New Yorker.
Not only is The New Yorker bad for my guilt, it makes me feel inferior. After I read an article or two, I find myself thinking in their writing style. Then I try to write like that, all witty and terse and succinct and cleverly sarcastic. The sarcasm I can manage, but I fail miserably at putting the rest of it all together. So then on top of feeling guilty that I haven't kept up with my required reading, I also feel inferior.
Now if you'll pardon me, Team Chi-Chis has a bicycle ride tomorrow. In temperatures much lower and winds much higher than I usually choose to ride in.
I have some crocheting to do in preparation.