Thirty Years of the
I am a thirty-year, greatly dissatisfied subscriber to the New York Review of Books. From the beginning, despite the savings a multiple-year subscription could bring, I have renewed one year at a time—partly because, in the event of my death, I do not wish to complicate my estate, let alone have the thing coming into the house after I am gone; and partly because I do not want the journal to have the advantage of the minuscule additional interest my longterm subscription would earn. Fair to say that I do not wish the New York Review (NYR) well, even though I expect to continue reading it for the foreseeable future—during which indefinite period of time, I have no doubt I shall continue to be dissatisfied.
I am also the author of a single piece in the New York Review, which appeared as far back as 1970, and I have had one book of mine reviewed (harshly) in its pages. That was, I believe, in 1974. Because I have published nine more books since then, none of them reviewed in the journal, I suspect I may be under a boycott. But I am not complaining, and I do not in the least mind things remaining this way, for I know it would be difficult for my books to be treated fairly in NYR, I am, after all, the fellow who said, in print, some time in the 1970′s, that the contributors to NYR, were made up of mad dogs and Englishmen. I would emend that today to read chiefly sly dogs and Englishmen, but I doubt the emendation would help matters.
About the Author
Joseph Epstein is a regular contributor to COMMENTARY.