30 July, 2015

Literary Magazines - The New Yorker and The Paris Review


Literary magazines are, simply put, periodicals with a literary focus. Of the wide selection available today, I subscribe to two - The New Yorker and The Paris Review.

The New Yorker is easily the most recognized and likely the most popular literary magazine by subscription base. Published weekly, save a few fortnightly issues per year, it combines fiction and poetry with updates on New York City's cultural events, including theaters, music, and other topical issues. As a print, the magazine's graphic art delights me. There is a distinctive graphic style that is quintessentially The New Yorker, and this is most vividly seen on its front cover, which never fails to enchant me week after week. The featured cartoons are also subtly humorous, often smart and sophisticated with an old school charm, rendered with technical and compositional virtuosity. The digital version has an additional perk: readers can listen to authors' recitals of their printed poetries, and sometimes their printed short fictions. The New Yorker website is also beautifully designed, and I especially love its aesthetically subtle fonts.

The Paris Review is a more traditional in the sense that its content are largely literature. Published four times a year as a portable small paperback, I find it to be an ideal travel companion. I am especially fond of the magazine's interviews with literary figures - authors, critics, poets, translators, or publishers - that provide rare insights into the worlds that readers would otherwise have very limited access. These interviews are archived and freely accessible on the magazine's website, and reading through them chronologically is like a crash course on the US literary movement since the 1950s, with delectable doses of gossip.







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