Friday, July 28, 2006

ASK THE LIBRARIANS! Emily Gordon of Emdashes recently unveiled the first installment of Ask the Librarians, wherein New Yorker head librarians Jon Michaud and Erin Overbey answer carefully selected questions about the magazine.

This is how I know the questions are carefully selected: None of mine made the first cut! So once again I'm a loser. Still, it was interesting to read the answers to other peoples' questions and encounter Erin's claim that the cartoons are "checked against the library's archive to make sure that a similar cartoon has not run previously in the magazine." Now, I don't want to make a big deal out of it, but there are many similar cartoons in the magazine. Like those couples in bed. So to my mind, mere repetition can't be a complete deal-breaker--at least in cases involving those sexy couples in bed.

There was also the revelation that three typewriters remain in use at the magazine library! (If you're puzzled by that sentence, it might help to know that typewriters are the quaint devices that preceded word processors.)

Something else that caught my attention: The identification of one Will Hays, Jr., as the first person to write a movie review (of The Last Laugh) for The New Yorker. I've already sent a note to Emily asking whether that Will Hays is any relation to the Will Hays of the Hollywood Production Code. (If you're puzzled by that sentence, it might help to know that the Hollywood Production Code was the quaint system that preceded Hollywood's motion picture rating system.)

Photo: David Marc Fischer

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