IS THE NEW YORKER MIDDLEBROW? James Campbell describes the New Yorker as a “mid-market” magazine in a review of SALINGER (by David Shields and Shane Salerno) in the TLS (December 20 and 27). He describes a story by Salinger in which Holden Caufield appears as Holden’s “final foray into the mid-market magazines before publication of THE CATCHER IN THE RYE”. Is “mid-market” the same as “middlebrow”? And is it fair to think of the New Yorker as “middlebrow”? After all, the New Yorker is characterized by Eustace Tilley, who examines a butterfly on the cover of an issue each February. I think the answer to both questions is yes. The New Yorker cannot be considered “highbrow” because the writing is not “difficult” and avant-garde. And its large readership in itself is damning.

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