每日英語跟讀 Ep.K401: The Magazine Business, From the Coolest Place to the Coldest One
I miss magazines. It’s a strange ache, because they are still sort of with us: staring out from the racks at supermarket checkout lines; fanned wanly around the table in hotel lobbies; showing up in your mailbox long after the subscription was canceled, like an ex who refuses to accept the breakup.
But they’re also disappearing. This accelerating erosion has not been big news during a time of pandemic, war and actual erosion, and yet the absence of magazines authoritatively documenting such events, or distracting from them, as they used to do with measured regularity, is keenly felt.
Time marches on, or limps, but Life is gone. There’s no more Money. The print editions of their former sister publications Entertainment Weekly and InStyle, which once frothed with profit, stopped publishing in February. It’s been au revoir to Saveur and Marie Claire; shrouds for Playboy, Paper and O. (As I type this, people are tweeting about The Believer being bought by a sex-toy site.)
Two recent books — “Dilettante,” by Dana Brown, a longtime editor at Vanity Fair, and a new biography of Anna Wintour, by Amy Odell, formerly of cosmopolitan.com — are graveyards of dead or zombie titles that were once glowing hives of human whim.
“There were so many magazines in 1994,” Brown writes. “So many new magazines, and so many great magazines. All the young talent of the moment was eschewing other industries and flocking to the business. It was the coolest place to be.”
Then suddenly the coldest. On the big fancy cruise ship that Brown had just boarded — Vanity Fair, where he’d been beckoned by Graydon Carter while a barback at the restaurant 44 — he and so many others then could only see the tip of an enormous iceberg they were about to hit: the internet. Smartphones, little self-edited monster magazines that will not rest until their owners die, were on the horizon. These may have looked like life rafts, but they were torpedo boats.
Every year, the American Society of Magazine Editors issues a handsome award, a brutalist-looking elephant called the Ellie, modeled after an Alexander Calder elephant sculpture. Any writer would be proud to have it on the mantelpiece.
The history of modern American literature is braided together with its magazines. The future can feel like a lot of loose threads, waving in the wind.
現代美國文學史與它的雜誌彼此交織在一起。未來就像是許多鬆散的線，在風中飄揚。Source article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/6379678