reachable by phone, Mr Remnickthe editor of The New Yorker since 1998, confirmed that Driftmania had indeed reached him.
“I’d be silly not to read something like The Drift,” he said. “In the history and culture of this country, small magazines can continue to have a big influence, so that’s part of my motivation as a reader, but I also have a predatory motivation, that is, say I’m always looking for writers for The New Yorker.
“You know what they used to say about the Partisan Review,” he continued. “For a long time in post-war mid-century America, they used to say maybe only 5,000 people were reading it, but that was the good 5,000 people.”
Partisan Review contributors and editors also helped create the raucous myth of literary New York – a gin-soaked milieu in which writers practiced at night in a haze of cigarette smoke. They had long-standing feuds with their ideological enemies and they knew how to throw a party.
There may have been a whiff of that bygone era in a Drift writer’s Park Slope apartment recently. The guests, several of whom described the gathering for this article, played tableau vivant, an old-fashioned version of charades, in which participants perform famous paintings. One tour featured a recreation of Emanuel Leutze’s “Washington Crossing the Delaware”, with a guest holding a bottle of liquor to suggest a telescope. Then came a debate, with jurors, to determine the superior author: Edith Wharton or Henry James.
Team Wharton won by a hair’s breadth.
Ms. Barrow and Ms. Panovka grew up in New York and attended private schools in Manhattan — Dwight for Mrs Barrow, Dalton for Mrs. Panovka. At Harvard, Ms. Barrow studied English and edited The Harvard Advocate. Ms. Panovka, an English and philosophy student, edited another student publication, The Harvard Book Review. It wasn’t until they graduated in 2016 that they realized they had enough in common to claim the small left-wing magazine throne.