The New Yorker

Just got my anniversary issue of The New Yorker. Coincidentally, it looks like they're up on the web now, as well. Their website has some of the articles from the magazine as well as some exclusive online content. I don't mind having them on the web, though I'm not sure they gain much from being online either. I've always thought of The New Yorker as old school, as something you curl up with to read. I can't imagine trying to read those long articles online.
Feed magazine had a humorous feature called After the Fall. It imagines how a few of today's leading websites look in year 2004, after the Internet economy has imploded. One of the sites pilloried is our very own Check it out. Reminded me of the Onion piece Who Wants to Eat a Meal.
Jumping back to The New Yorker, they have an online interview with Alice Munro, and here's an excerpt I liked:
"You have a splendid description of your way of reading the stories of others: entering them as if they were houses, not reading from start to finish but wandering around in them, from room to room.
That's right. And that's why I read stories I love over and over again. I just finished reading a Lorrie Moore story--you know, the one about the baby with cancer ["People Like That Are the Only People Here," The New Yorker, 1/27/97]--that I must have read twenty times. And it isn't, obviously, that I'm reading it to find out what happens. I just want to be there with her. Any story that I really love can make me feel like that."
And another excerpt, and more support for the idea that writing is a job, like any other:
"QUINN: You've spoken of how you had to struggle to find time to write--maybe working until one o'clock in the morning and then getting up at six and feeling, This is just terrible.
MUNRO: Oh, but I was much younger. I was in my late thirties, or around forty, when I was doing that. In those days, I would be thinking about the stories a lot, getting into them in my mind. Even if I just had half an hour when the kids were napping, that's what I would do. There were months when I'd be thinking. I didn't try to write--I just tried to get into something and get the feel of it. My life was so crowded with essential chores that use the opposite part of your mind, and that I wasn't very good at, that I had to work really hard to be a good mother and housewife, and to keep things in order. And, since that wasn't easy for me, I could have completely gotten into that way of using my mind, so that when I had a spare half hour I would only think of something else I had to do. That's why I think I knew, somehow instinctively, that I had to take a little bit of time to get into this other world. And it was very discouraging, really, because then, when I sat down to write, I often had thought too much about the story, and the way I was getting it down was terribly disappointing. And now I'm sort of used to that.
Now you have a dedicated schedule, don't you?
When I'm doing the first draft, I have a so-much-a-day schedule. But when I start putting it on the computer I can get carried away, and I try to go as far as I can every day, as if I were going to die in the night or something."
You know what? Just go read the whole interview. It's fabulous. Lots of great insights about writing, from a great writer. Hurry, though. This link looks like it will change everytime The New Yorker posts a new online only interview. Yet another thing The New Yorker needs to learn, how to post persistent links. Or maybe they intend for their stuff to be fleeting, which makes sense to me if they want to preserve
the value of their content. They should create a searchable archive you have to pay to access. I'd subscribe just to read some of the old fiction.
BTW, Alice Munro's latest short story, the featured Fiction piece in the anniversary issue, is also online.
A Quicktime clip on the upcoming new Baz film, Moulin Rouge.