David Owen’s piece The Dime Store Floor is a bit of nasal nostalgia. The sense of smell is a vivid memory evoker. A couple of summers ago I walked into a lumber yard’s warehouse and had a sensory hit so vivid that for a moment I was 8 years old in my great-grandfather’s woodshop/garage next door to the house where I grew up. Something about the old wood and sawdust and heat. The force of that memory surprised me. Owen’s piece is like that too.
I rarely have time to read these days, but when I do I read The New Yorker magazine. It’s the public radio of magazines: eclectic, in-depth, personal, funny, thoughtful. The average length of the pieces and the editorial tone gives writers the freedom to stretch out and find a rhetorical stride that is smart, engaging and wide-ranging.
Ok, enough plaudits.
I’m starting this new category to take note of pieces I want to remember later.
E. O. Wilson’s fiction piece in the New Yorker reads like a National Geographic article, not the kind of fiction I expect from the New Yorker. But then, that makes it the kind of thing I expect to read in the New Yorker, which is a wide-ranging publication. I liked the piece.