Saturday, January 13, 2024

"Ambition was utterly conventional"

I thoroughly enjoyed Sam Fragoso's interview with New Yorker editor David Remnick. I listened to it yesterday during my drive to work. I was so glued to it that I stayed inside the car for a couple more minutes to finish the episode. 

I'm a huge fan of David Remnicks' writing. In 2018, I bought his  book on Muhammad Ali after my arduous pre-residency at PGH Internal Medicine. I listen to episodes of New Yorker Radio Hour, one of my favorite podcasts, which he hosts. (I use Apple Podcasts, which is terrific, but according to friends, you can tune in to Spotify, too, which is just as great.)

But Sam's interview with David was the first time I heard about the esteemed editor's personal life. I was so interested to hear him speak about his awareness that, as the older of two brothers, he would be taking care of his parents. His father was a dentist who would later suffer from Parkinson's; his mother was an art teacher who would have multiple sclerosis. He never doubted of his parents' love. He said that in his family of immigrants, "Ambition was utterly conventional." His parents wanted him to be a good boy and to do good for himself.

"They [his parents] are your children now," he said, relating to Sam the role he took on to care for his family. He also spoke about his daughter who had "profound autism."

I love how he describes his fanaticism for Bob Dylan as "six miles past embarrassment." He talks about the situation in Gaza. (Hours after listening to the interview, I received a text from my brother that my copies of the New Yorker magazine arrived in the mail. One of the three copies was the November 6 issue, which features David's article, In The Cities of Killing.)

Sam is a terrific interviewer. David is a brilliant man. Here are the show notes from Talk Easy, where the interview originally aired. Do listen.

In the cities of killing by David Remnick

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home