Literary magazines are the legend to the map of American letters.
What is the wider cultural influence of literary magazines? To be certain, I am not sure there needs to be one.
"But if this history teaches us anything, it is that there is always going to be a sizeable audience that cares about quality drama enough to pay real money for it. After all, in the 1940s, Broadway’s principal competition was local amateur productions and guys on their front porches telling funny stories – a sort of analog version of today’s BitTorrent downloads and YouTube cat videos. My grandfather, who told some pretty funny stories himself, was willing to plunk down serious money to take his family to New York for a few good meals and a chance to see the best writers and performers of his age. I have no idea what entertainment technology will look like when my future grandchildren begin to hunger for something more edifying than a quick joke or a funny story, but my bet is they will be able to find it if they are willing to pay for it."
Michael Bourne, “Breaking Good: Broadway’s Golden Age Reborn on Cable”
"That sort of binge-television viewing has become a normal, accepted part of American culture. Saturdays with a DVD box set, a couple bottles of wine, and a big carton of goldfish crackers are a pretty common new feature of American weekends. Netflix bet big on this trend with their release of House of Cards. They released all 13 episodes of the first season at once: roughly one full Saturday’s worth. It’s a show designed for the binge. The New York Times quoted the show’s producer as saying, with a laugh, ‘Our goal is to shut down a portion of America for a whole day.’ They don’t say what kind of laugh it was.”
From Here You Can See Everything by James A. Pearson
Mad Men is about to disappear from our lives once again, leaving us to grapple alone with our complicated nostalgia for an era when men were men, women were secretaries, and alcoholism was glamorous. These books give a closer look at the era, offering a vision of Midcentury Manhattan that goes beyond Cheever and Yates. (Although Cheever and Yates are a great place to start, if you haven’t already.) Read them to tide you over until the next season or to fine-tune your predictions for this week’s series finale
Jon Hamm reads Frank O’Hara's “Mayakovsky.”
Charlie Rose with the cast of Mad Men
Secrets are at the heart of Mad Men. All of the principle characters harbor them. Sometimes they come out, and sometimes not. In keeping with this air of obfuscation, the writers have crafted a style of dialogue that is suitably obtuse, and occasionally impenetrable. I think part of the show’s popularity has to do with the fact that it demands such scrutiny if the viewer is going to pick up on all the nuances.
"Peggy, dancing in front of her mirror Ann-Margret style and failing to entice, breaks your heart. Later, Peggy picks up a college kid at a bar using a joke stolen from the always sexy office manager, Joan. The kid is lame, a messy eater, and assumes she’s a secretary – but we know why Peggy goes home with him. Though part of us is silently begging her not to bag the loser, we are also elated that she’s able to."
-Catie Disabato, “Birdie’s the Word: Mad Men’s Pop Culture References”