Prudence Crowther is on the editorial staff of The New York Review. (January 2018)


Zeus: The Apology

I came of agelessness just after heaven and earth were formed, when there weren’t many rules yet about behavior, since I’d hardly made any. If someone broke an oath, I threw a thunderbolt—that was one of the few. Nor was there any “workplace culture” on Olympus to speak of. That’s no excuse, I know now. I will leave it for others to judge whether the fact that my father cut off my grandfather’s genitals and flung them into the ocean and ate all my siblings makes any difference. One way or another, clearly I have needed to channel some kind of insecurity, and over the last few weeks I’ve asked Athena to put together a phalanx of gods and mortals to help me wrestle with those demons that come with the territory of being able to mess with everything at will. It doesn’t happen overnight.

The Outsourcer’s Apprentice

Another rumor in circulation [at Time]…was that McKinsey would recommend outsourcing copy-editing jobs to India. —The New York Observer, January 15, 2007 Memo to the Copy Desk from the Copy Chief, Bangalore: Gang, Nice job nailing the magazine gig from America. The crouching elephant may yet eat their lunch.

None but the Lonely Trout

Gentle, attractive record company editor…seeking nonsmoker for companionship and LTR…. Listen to Schubert’s Du bist die Ruh’ to know more about me. Box […] Dear Box […], I took you at your word and bought the appropriate CD. Maybe it’s the translation, but I’m not sure if I know more …

Olympic Notes

PARIS, June 5 (AP)—France’s synchronized swim team had its Olympics program worked out: In black bathing suits, they would goose-step in German military style to the side of the pool. Then, diving in, they would reenact the arrival of Jewish women in the death camps, selection by Nazi doctors and …

A Call for Papers

Again the Postmodern Language as a Second Language Association convention will be held. Reminder: In sessions where members are presenting or responding, they may not be chairs. Reconsidering Pearl Buck The author in the light of recent rethinking of desire, deferral, the gaze, labyrinth, displacement, and the panoptic phallus. What …

Knowing S.J. Perelman

Sidney Joseph Perelman was born in Brooklyn on February 1, 1904, to Russian Jewish immigrants. He was an only child. The family soon moved to Providence, Rhode Island, where his father, Joseph, opened a dry-goods store, earning a parlous living that did not improve after a switch to poultry farming …

The First Laugh

That Old Gang O' Mine: The Early and Essential S.J. Perelman

edited by Richard Marschall
S.J. Perelman in his time moved more book reviewers to confess incontinence than any other author in the West. While not myself finding this appropriate as a measuring stick, I don’t mean to sneer. Indeed, I see now why Antony wanted to bury Caesar, but not to praise him. The …