Tuesday, January 27, 2009

There's no telling where a magazine article can lead...

We saw a mention the other day about how an article about changes in museums, written for The Walrus magazine, published in June, 2007, forms the basis for a lecture at the University of Iowa by former Montrealer Adam Gopnik. He is The New Yorker's art critic. This raises anew the question about how important the work of magazine journalism is in generating new ideas. What recent Canadian magazine articles have generated books, movies and even lectures?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I fail to see the connection here - the original article was written by Gopnick, and he's now presenting his own ideas in a different format. People do that all the time.

6:46 pm  
Blogger D. B. Scott said...

As you'll see from the linked article, it was not me who made the specific link to the article. You don't see it? Fair enough.

10:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw the link, and understand that. I just don't see why this is of any significance. From the tone of your post ("the importance of magazine journalism in generating new ideas"), you implied that the article has sparked new thought, presumably beyond the writer themselves.

But since Gopnik wrote the article and gave the lecture, it seems a stretch to claim that the article led, or generated something. Had someone other than Gopnik been inspired by the article to do further work and produce a lecture (or movie or film), that would have been significant. But Gopnik is simply expanding on his own ideas in different forums.

Isn't this a bit like a writer giving a lecture based on an idea they've already written a book about?

We'd all love to think that the Walrus, and other magazines, are changing the world, but this isn't an example of that.

8:45 am  

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