Turns out we miss having a good old-fashioned editor mythology to talk about.


For as long as the print media has been on hospice, there has been a lot of buzz about the coming extinction of a specific type of editor-in-chief: the glamorous boss with first-name recognition, an exquisite lifestyle, and a kind of surrounding myth. which is synonymous, if not supersessive, of the titles they lead. Over the last two decades, the combined tectonic pressure of the digital economy, coupled with long-awaited benchmarks with workplace culture and such as decency, has largely ruled out flashy industry mainstays like passive, the future netflix talent pool or generally irrelevant figures from a past industry. the friends have been softened, have been canceled or have left the building in a Louis Vuitton luggage tourbillon; last summer, The New York Times pronounced the imperial publisher officially dead (called “the last example standing” in the piece, of course, felt almost unnecessary).

And while this transfer of power from the hands of a few bright personalities to a more diverse kind of office class is a net good for everyone else, there’s also an undeniable sense of loss of an entire category of celebrity. To your humble servants at vanity Fair, While we’ve done our part in creating myths of power players, this niche void raises constant questions about modern power and fame and who is available for watercooler (now group chat) analysis and why. Which brings me to why the press tour of T Editor-in-chief of the magazine hanya yana gihara and his latest novel, to Paradise, I felt that it awoke a half-remembered appetite among the rows of tweeters.

Among those of Yanagihara New Yorker profile Monday, which brought to light titillating snippets about everything from the author’s near-solitary habits to her taste for bullshit; a gutting review of Vulture on Wednesday that skewered Yanagihara’s daily labor expenses along with his actual book, and accompanying pieces such as Jezebel’s art monster defense, who shared a memorable anecdote from 2016 that testifies to the author’s legendary sense of confidence or arrogance, depending on your taste; professional chatterboxes in the media and publishing industries had a common villain, or hero! depending!- to sink their incisors into, damn the sheer literary merits. The press tour was ostensibly about Hanya: The Author, but the pieces that cast a critical net over the broader arc of Yanagihara’s career have made Hanya: The Editor a central part of the story. Talking about To Paradise meant to talk about a little life, and speaking of a little life it meant not only contrasting Yanagihara’s fictional stories of suffering with her glamorous day job curating high fashion, art and culture; but also understand how your work in T Magazines other Conde Nast Traveler informed his style for the sumptuous setting. And thus vivifies Hanya: the Myth.

link with deep cuts from pre-2020 speech, the resulting Hanya Mania has created a personality that bears little resemblance to the current “new guard” of star editors. Think about Elaine WelterothThe chic but decidedly political leadership of 2016-2018 in teen Fashion, or the cut Lindsay Towns Wagner making a warm-eyed cameo in the gossip Girl reboot, and compare the icy portrait we get of Yanagihara’s reluctance to social networks, relationability and the social circuit of the media in general. She is reclusive but successful, ascetic but at the same time luxurious. His quotes come off as astonishingly sparky dictates (when asked about the most overrated real estate virtue by The Guardians, she replied, “Sunlight (damages art)”). His lifestyle, surrounded by 12,000 books and mid-century designed furniture, sounds downright fabulous. Accessible, not so much.

While Yanagihara acknowledges ticking an important box in EIC’s demographics, her relationship to identity politics ranges from indifferent (“Being a woman was never, and still isn’t really, something that interested me”) to controversial (the review of Vulture essentially accuses Yanagihara of burning his gay male leads “like ants”). And, as is hinted at quite obviously in the New Yorkerthe owner-“Audience of one of Hanya Yanagihara”: their style of working, both as author and editor-in-chief, seems to resemble the kind of editorial leadership they project. meryl streep to play Consider the deceitful policy of publicly criticizing a book written by someone who holds one of the last golden keys in the magazine world, and one glimpses the tidal wave of undeclared power at hand. After all, perhaps not all Imperial publishers are gone.

Celebrity analysis, albeit a niche, is essentially an exercise in our own cave allegory, clinging to the shadows cast by both our subjects and those of us who operate within the larger apparatus of professional narrative production. Whether or not anyone thinks they really understand Hanya Yanagihara as a person by now, the resulting portrait we’ve assembled of her as a writer, editor, and stage character has skillfully spread the word among the myth-making class. The headspace Yanagihara has occupied this week is an anachronistic callback to the fixation we had with larger-than-life editors from the bygone days of magazines, and a chance to revisit our fascination with anyone who personifies our deepest anxieties or aspirations. There’s nothing like a dodo sighting to make you wonder what else has changed.

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