Our New Year’s Resolution: Try New Things
January 7, 2014 | by Dan Piepenbring
Variety, it’s said, is the spice of life, and too often our lives are sparingly seasoned—not with fennel seed or ancho chile powder, but with a few grains of table salt, iodized if we’re lucky. On a water cracker. But a new year is upon us, and we intend to try new things: like duck larb, or sweetbreads in mole, or Alsatian choucroute garnie.
Sure, The Paris Review is reliable: with the best in fiction, interviews, poetry, and art, plus three National Magazine Awards in the last five years, we prefer to think of ourselves as sturdy, not stodgy. But in terms of variety, it’s hard to beat McSweeney’s, whose every issue is a veritable jack-in-the-box of unpredictability. Where we hew to the tried and true—same trim size, same typeface—at McSweeney’s these things are subject to change without notice. 2005’s “Made to Look Like It Came in Your Mailbox” issue was just that; winter 2010 came in a large box illustrated with a very rubicund head; and their most recent offering, “Multiples,” features up to six different versions of twelve stories.
Clearly, then, the most variety of all would come from reading both our magazines. That’s why, through January, we’re offering a subscription deal: you can get McSweeney’s and The Paris Review for just $75, a 20 percent savings. That’s more than a lot of new things—it’s a flavor explosion. (Caveat emptor: though we can’t speak for McSweeney’s, we feel comfortable saying our publication will never be literally edible.)