Well, this is why. Hidden in this cartoon are lots of reasons, brilliantly conveyed by Bob Mankoff, the cartoon editor of the New Yorker. His new memoir “How About Never – Is Never Good For You?” doesn’t come out till March, and so I hope I’m not violating some Early Reviewer’s agreement (I get sent books to review from a wonderful site called Library Thing, where you can record the books you’ve read and see what other people are reading) by publishing (if you can call this tiny blog “publishing”) an excerpt prematurely.
I am riveted by his memoir, by the way, and I’ve only read the first chapter so far. He promises that by the end you’ll be able to win the New Yorker’s caption contest, which would be quite a boon for me since absolutely nothing comes into my head when I look at those blank spaces underneath the cartoons on the last page. I think it has something to do with having nearly failed Art History, and hating museums.
Speaking of art and books, even though it took me several lifetimes I just finished The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt, which is a whole 800 page book about a painting with a very complex plot that kept me going (even though it was about a painting) but which ended with an interminable chapter about the philosophy of art that went completely over my head, except for the rather prosaic conclusion that works of art are immortal, unlike their creators.
Which is one of the messages of this cartoon, and of this blog.