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Writing for The New YorkerCritical Essays on an American Periodical$
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Fiona Green

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748682492

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748682492.001.0001

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Philip Roth’s Kinds of Writing

Philip Roth’s Kinds of Writing

(p.81) Chapter 4 Philip Roth’s Kinds of Writing
Writing for The New Yorker

Bharat Tandon

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter explores The New Yorker's distinctive relationship with the Manhattan cityscape within which it was conceived and produced. It suggests ways in which both the magazine's treatments of the value of readable social indicators, and the larger cultural cachet of the magazine itself in the 1950s and 1960s, offered the young Philip Roth an early engagement with ideas that were to become defining imaginative preoccupations across his fictional and critical oeuvre, from Goodbye, Columbus to Nemesis. The chapter shows how there remains an important difference between textual cityscapes and Times Square in the middle of the twentieth century. Reading a nineteenth-century poster or a handbill may have been fascinating or disorientating to a passerby, but for the most part, the implicit power relationship of conventional reading would not have been challenged.

Keywords:   The New Yorker, Manhattan cityscape, Philip Roth, social indicators, textual cityscapes, Times Square, conventional reading

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