Monday, February 11, 2008

Excellent Stuff from the New Yorker

My wife has a subscription to The New Yorker, which means I have a subscription to The New Yorker. I have to confess that I read the magazine less than I should. I usually try to read anything by Malcolm Gladwell or Roger Angell, and I'll usually browse the reviews, particularly Anthony Lane (I never see eye to eye with David Denby, except when he's writing about the Arclight, the greatest movie theater ever built by man). Frankly, The New Yorker's presence in my apartment feels a little oppressive. I have so much to read for work and for pleasure that I rarely have the time to read anything from the magazine beyond the occasional movie review. Yet there it sits, taking up valuable real estate on the coffee table, taunting me with its presence.

Yesterday, however, I sat down to eat breakfast and couldn't get the tiny paperback I was reading to sit open on the table. Consequently, I turned to the New Yorker, which flopped open fortuitously to David Grann's "Letter from Poland" piece called "True Crime." The article tells the story of the murder of Dariusz Janiszewski, a Polish businessman whose body turned up in a river in rural Poland, bound and with a noose around his head. The twists of the article, which I don't want to completely ruin, are the stuff of a great crime drama. The detective who investigates the murder connects it, circuitously, to the Polish author Krystian Bala. Bala is the author of the book Amok, a novel in the vein of Michel Houellebecq. Amok, which has yet to be translated into English, centers on the character Chris, a misanthropic philosophy student who, in a fit of Raskolnakovian fury, kills his girlfriend. As the investigator began examining the book, he noticed certain chilling parallels between the murder in the book and the killing of Janiszewski. I don't want to give anything more of the story away, but I wanted to recommend to everyone that they read this fascinating article. It's worth taking the time from whatever you happen to be reading to check it out.


At 11:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yup. its a great piece. wonder who bought the movie rights.


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