How David Remnick ruined the civilized world

New Yorker editor Remnick has been at it since Trump was elected, an event, termed by Remnick at the start, as “An American Tragedy,” and he won’t let up.

Jack Engelhard

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The first lesson you learn as a writer is to stay calm. Don’t shout, don’t scream, because if you do, the reader will think you are nuts.

The reader will think you are sending an SOS message in a bottle, or in a fortune cookie, to help him make his escape from an insane asylum.

That’s right. Don’t scream, even if it hurts. Too bad David Remnick does not know this rule. He should. He is the editor of The New Yorker, which was once America’s most beloved literary magazine, until he came along…and turned it into a fanatical left-wing political rag in which he and his writers howl at the moon, and against Trump, week after week,  

We used to call such feverishly inflamed writing, purple prose. The New Yorker, of the past, of all places, would never engage in that, but here is Remnick, once again, at the top of his lungs, in full Gevalt mode, insisting that “Trump’s impeachment is about the future of the Earth.” Can we get him an Oy Vey?

Only, he was beaten to the Armageddon alarm by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, recently named TIME magazine’s Person of the Year. Typical for 2019. Next, a Nobel for Meteorology.

Remnick was passed over. We don’t know why. His doomsday howls were loud enough.

What a shame. What a waste, and Remnick has been at it since Trump was elected, an event, termed by Remnick at the start, as “An American Tragedy,” and he won’t let up.

He’s been in full throttle three straight years, and I guess it’s okay with his readers, who themselves must be part of the Frenzied Resistance.

Even if you never read The New Yorker, it means something when a reputation goes splat. He ruined it for everybody.

If Remnick is news to you, think Robert De Niro and how he keeps saying, “I want to punch Trump in the face.” Get the picture?

So the generation that was contemplative and discerning and that savored the purity of word and sentence…they are gone, huh? 

The New Yorker was famed for its sotto voce, its monotone, a style favored by the great, as in Hemingway and Salinger, and borrowed from our Scriptures, where without a single adjective, we read the story of the Akeda, the Binding of Isaac, a story so shattering, and yet told so straightforward as to let the reader supply the power and the emotion. 

That is the idea and from Genesis, chapter, Vayeira, that is where true writing begins. 


Salinger tried for years to get his prose suitable for such exacting and legendary editors as Harold Ross and William Shawn until he finally got it right.
The theory that “what you leave out” has the most impact, still stands…when you know what you are doing. Here, my advice on writing,

Salinger tried for years to get his prose suitable for such exacting and legendary editors as Harold Ross and William Shawn until he finally got it right.

(I still think he got it too right…too tight…too perfect. The voice we heard from “The Catcher in the Rye” was lost.)

So, Mozart on the “record player,” a sip of cognac, and civilized readers sat back to read Salinger’s “A Perfect Day for Bananafish.” Then, Irwin Shaw’s, “The Girls in their Summer Dresses.” Then Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery,” and Hannah Arendt’s “Eichmann in Jerusalem.” That was The New Yorker.

To make it there meant you had arrived. I never even tried. They did not want tough guys. For that, there was Esquire, which published Hemingway. That type.

No, you had to be polite, even if it was about Eichmann. Which is why Jimmy Breslin and Pete Hamill had enough of that and went elsewhere, and edgy.

(I went to writing novels, and to writing columns for The Philadelphia Inquirer, and some even for The New York Times, back when they were good.)

The key word at The New Yorker was…civilized. Think of a Gentleman’s Club. Or Ladies Book Club.

People were like that back then. Well, some. More than today. That’s for sure. There was no Twitter. 

That is, there were no heated exchanges, back and forth within seconds, and there were few talking heads on television growling at each other.

People were not so overheated. Or maybe they were. I don’t remember.

Anyway, Remnick got the job 1998. Just in time to carry over to our new century, and a perfect fit for this age of resistance, derangement and fury.

New York-based bestselling American novelist Jack Engelhard writes regularly for Arutz Sheva.

He wrote the worldwide book-to-movie bestseller “Indecent Proposal,” and the authoritative newsroom epic, “The Bathsheba Deadline,” followed by his coming-of-age classics, “The Girls of Cincinnati,” and, the Holocaust-to-Montreal memoir, “Escape from Mount Moriah,” for which contemporaries have hailed him “The last Hemingway, a writer without peer, and the conscience of us all.” Website: www.jackengelhard.com








 



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