Friday, September 14, 2007

Back Issues: The New Yorker and Frankfurters, Roominghouses, Meteorites and Vanishing

In my plodding through back issues of The New Yorker, I dispatched the July 9, 2007 issue.

There were several items that stood out.

First, a nice piece by Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk about the origins of street food in Istanbul:

“We’d gaze through the glass at the dark-red sauce that had been simmering all day and select one of the frankfurters wallowing in it like happy water buffalo in the mud…” For the writer, eating American street food was a major break with Islamic tradition and a step towards the “solitary individualism that modernity so often involves.”
Also, "This Old House," another great reflection of personal history by David Sedaris. The full piece is linked to the title (whereas the Pamuk link is only to an abstract.

Then, "On Impact" (abstract linked) by Ian Frazier on what happened when something fell from the sky and broke through the roof of Srinivasan Nageswaran's house in Freehold, New Jersey. I discovered a blog called New Yorker Comment that quoted Frazier and his opening salvo:

Tell me you don't love the guy who could write three opening sentences like these:

"People get excited when strange objects fall from the sky. We seek portents and meaning, we venerate the object, and we horripilate at the uncanny scent of our beginnings, or end. Even wised up by science as we are, we tend to freak."

("Horripilate"—I looked it up—means "to cause one's hair to stand on end and get goosebumps," as in "I horripilate at the sight of blood," or "Hitchcock movies horripilate me.")
If you can't read the article in full, perhaps you should bookmark the aforementioned blog that is subtitled "One of the five blogs you loiter with in purgatory."

And finally, I really enjoyed the Stuart Dybek story, "If I Vanished," viewable here. One of the more interesting fiction pieces I had read in a while.

No comments: