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Issue 04 – Septuagesima 2021


Goofus Wears A Miraculous Medal

On Goofus Catholicism.


Well into my forties, I read the New Yorker for the cartoons. Most long-form journalism bored me, and the short stories—which I, a writer, might be expected to admire—left me cold. I could never figure out what they were supposed to be about, what was at stake. Most seemed like tiresome whingeing about this or that, ending five thousand words later on a note of tremulous irresolution.

I, too, wanted to be published in the New Yorker, but the sophisticated inner workings of such stories eluded me. I knew I couldn’t write one if I tried. To cheer myself up I skimmed the magazine’s cartoons, which mocked the attitudes and lifestyles of itsreaders: a symbiosis reminiscent of the old America, the one where people could take a joke.

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About the author

Maya Sinha