Q. Is it true that at some point in the seventies, Goings On About Town used the listings for The Fantasticks to serialize James Joyceâ€™s Ulysses? Jon writes: Yes. The New Yorker began serializing Ulysses in the November 3, 1968 listing for The Fantasticks, which famously ran for 17,162 performances, or nearly 42 years. That issue quoted the copyright information from the third printing of the novel (London, Egoist Press). The bookâ€™s opening wordsâ€”â€œStately plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossedâ€â€”appeared in the Dec. 21, 1968, issue. The serialization lasted almost three years, ending in November of 1971, and encompassed the entirety of the bookâ€™s first chapter. [...] Asked about reader response to the serialization, [New Yorker editor Gardner] Botsford observed, â€œMany are delighted they can identify the excerpts, but others think we are trying to communicate with the Russian herring fleet in code.â€Everybody loves easter eggs.
From the department of microscopic obsessions of the bourgeoisie: I’ve subscribed to The New Yorker since I first came to the US, over a decade ago. On a mailing list, a correspondent alerts readers to this blog entry, which tickled me pink.
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