Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Cultural gentrification

February 1, 1963
First issue of the NYR

The New York Review of Books was born during a newspaper strike in New York, when even the New York Times Book Review was not available.

I remember well that first issue in February, 1963, with an all-star lineup of American intellectuals, most of whom I first read in The Nation, The New Republic, or in monthlies and quarterlies.

I inadvertently let my NYR subscription lapse recently. While in North Beach a few weeks ago, I picked up the latest edition at City Lights and was shocked at the cover price---$8.95! $9.71 with the tax!

In a blow up of the picture above, you can just read the original cover price: "Twenty-five Cents."

The one review that still puzzles me: Mary McCarthy on Naked Lunch, which, on her recommendation, I read later. Utterly mystifying. It wasn't the sex that bothered me, but even the word salads tucked in between the sex and violence were incomprehensible.

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At 10:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not surprising that NYRB is getting gentrified. City Lights is impossible these days; I've given up trying to find parking anywhere within walking distance. If I need books I just drive to Daly City or shop on Amazon.


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