The New Yorker Cartoonist Amy Kurzweil will never read all three volumes and 1,928 pages of “On What Matters,” but she knows how to draw them.
Cartoons by Harry Bliss; Lila Ash; Elisabeth McNair; Ellie Black; Mike Twohy
For some 95 years, cartoons in The New Yorker magazine have captured the spirit of their times. “Sunday Morning” presents a recent sampling from cartoonists Victoria Roberts, Pia Guerra and Ian Boothby, Jeremy Nguyen, and David Sipress.
Before she published “Silent Spring,” one of the most influential books of the last century, Rachel Carson was a young aspiring poet and then a graduate student in marine biology. Although she couldn’t swim and disliked boats, Carson fell in love with the ocean. Her early books—including “The Sea Around Us,” “The Edge of the Sea” and “Under the Sea Wind”—were like no other nature writing of their time,
Jill Lepore says: Carson made you feel you were right there with her, gazing into the depths of a tide pool or lying in a cave lined with sea sponges. Lepore notes that Carson was wondering about a warming trend in the ocean as early as the 1940s, and was planning to explore it after the publication of “Silent Spring.” If she had not died early, of cancer, could Carson have brought climate change to national attention well before it was too late?
Excerpts from Carson’s work were read by Charlayne Woodard, and used with permission of Carson’s estate.
Rachel Louise Carson (May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964) was an American marine biologist, author, and conservationist whose book Silent Spring and other writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement.
Carson began her career as an aquatic biologist in the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries, and became a full-time nature writer in the 1950s. Her widely praised 1951 bestseller The Sea Around Us won her a U.S. National Book Award, recognition as a gifted writer, and financial security. Her next book, The Edge of the Sea, and the reissued version of her first book, Under the Sea Wind, were also bestsellers. This sea trilogy explores the whole of ocean life from the shores to the depths.
Late in the 1950s, Carson turned her attention to conservation, especially some problems that she believed were caused by synthetic pesticides. The result was the book Silent Spring (1962), which brought environmental concerns to an unprecedented share of the American people. Although Silent Spring was met with fierce opposition by chemical companies, it spurred a reversal in national pesticide policy, which led to a nationwide ban on DDT and other pesticides. It also inspired a grassroots environmental movement that led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Carson was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Jimmy Carter.
Scenes from a day of weirdness in quarantine in Paris, France as Parisians socially distance to avoid spreading the coronavirus. The city’s landmarks and streets appear eerily empty while residents have taken shelter at home to curb the outbreak of COVID-19.
Scenes from a day of weirdness in quarantine, as Milan socially distances to avoid spreading the coronavirus.
In February, 1925, Rea Irvin, The New Yorker’s first art editor, designed the cover of the magazine’s inaugural issue. That cover’s central character, a dandy peering at a butterfly through a monocle, would come to be known as Eustace Tilley, and he has graced the cover of the magazine nearly every February in the ninety-five years since. This is all a matter of historical record—but Barry Blitt, in this year’s Anniversary Issue, tells a different origin story. We recently talked to Blitt about drawing a familiar face.
You’ve drawn many a Eustace Tilley. Is there something pleasing about revisiting familiar forms?
Well, certain familiar forms are probably traumatic to revisit, but Tilley is a joy to draw repeatedly. All the hard work has been done for you—it’s a beautifully designed image. Hard to make a mess of those shapes and colors, though I give it the old college try.
From a New York Times Magazine article (Feb 7, 2020):
Is being an editor in chief again something you’d ever think about doing?
I have to suppress those feelings, because I love content, to use the horrible word, and editors now are so beleaguered that all the fun that I had isn’t there to be had. It’s a shame that editors get so little time now to think about stories and writers. Most of their time is spent having incredibly boring meetings about distribution and platforms and branded digital content. All this stuff, it’s just incredibly miserable. What I love, and what I’ve always loved, is telling stories.
What’s a third-rail conversation that you’re not having or that isn’t happening at Women in the World events? #MeToo is fraught, because anything can be taken and become this flying I.E.D. that can mess you up. It’s difficult to have a debate about that topic, because all the things that people say off-camera they don’t want to say in public.
Unlike most journalists, Tina Brown carries with her an aura of swashbuckling glamour, a remnant of her starry, high-budget run during the 1980s and ’90s as editor in chief of Vanity Fair and then The New Yorker. Like many journalists, Brown, 66, has pivoted in recent years to an adjacent line of work, in her case the live-event business. Her Women in the World Summit, which has hosted speakers like Oprah Winfrey and the Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad, is held each spring at Lincoln Center. (The New York Times was once a partner in the business.) She has also written two best-selling books, “The Vanity Fair Diaries” and “The Diana Chronicles,” a tell-all about the British royal family.