20 Pages

Introduction: Back at the Waldorf?


Wallace Stevens loved The New Yorker. His friend Wilson Taylor testifi ed that whenever Stevens took the train from Connecticut (where he came to live in 1916 until the end of his life in 1955) back to the New York City of his early adulthood, he invariably read the magazine along the way to prepare for the visit and its lavish cultural opportunities (Brazeau 84). Stevens’ biographer, Joan Richardson, adds that the poet took a particular liking to the magazine’s iconic cartoons, which seem to her so “close in spirit to his own wit” (Later Years 225). And when Stevens started up a small cultural exchange with a correspondent in Ceylon, he sent the man a one-year subscription to The New Yorker, which he felt “quite sure” his correspondent would like, “although there is very little that is literary about it” (L 332).