Critics and uses for New Yorker fiction

From A Special Column by Laura Miller:

Columnist’s block, like a bad heroin habit, is a subject of lackluster interest to those who are capable of filing a column that actually includes a few nifty ideas and a great annoyance to me personally. It differs somewhat from writer’s block in that the columnist is faced with the prospect of sounding important, because the columnist must keep her job, even when she really doesn’t know the audience she’s writing for. “To hell with filing the article,” once said Jayson Blair to a friend, “let’s go get sushi and not pay. I’ll make the shit up as it comes along.” Well, we all know what happened to him. At least the writer has talent, whereas the lofty book columnist is often a windbag who cannot grasp so much as a whit of the typical book enthusiast’s mind.

In “The Drunk Sluts’ Guide to Surviving Business Trips aka Adding Value Whilst Getting Drunk and Laid on Company Time and Money,” Maccers advises business travelers on everything from baggage and drugs to literature. Regarding the latter, she says:


Always the New Yorker. Flick through and read the Ben McGrath article. Use the fiction section to dispose of gum.

Always Mary McCarthy, preferably, The Company She Keeps. If there is a man aflight who understands your subliminal message you may be treated to an educated fuck and a guilt triggered gift of some value or an ever dwindling number of jacket required dinners.

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