From Rio Liang: Making Magazine Fiction Sexy Again (Or For the First Time): Esquire, Stephen King, Hot Model

Photo from Mirror.co.uk 3/06/2009

Bar Refaeli for Esquire

I must admit that Esquire is not exactly on the top of my list when it comes to reading magazine fiction (Maybe I’m not enough of a manly writer, who knows).  I usually cleave to the ol’ reliables like The New Yorker and Harper’s for my supply.  But it seems like the men’s magazine once heralded decades back for doling out first-rate short stories is seeking to regain some of its former literary glory.  On the cover of the July 2009 issue is a very enticing (at least for the heterosexual folk) photo of an Israeli model named Bar Refaeli–I must admit I’ve never heard of her before–temporarily tattooed across her body with the title of Stephen King’s new story, his byline, and the introductory lines of the story itself.  It seems like a very dubious “stunt,” mixing a very, very sexual image–Photoshopped skin, hot babe–with a very, very porridge-like (to most) concept:  Fiction.  I have a feeling most will gloss over the tattoo and concentrate instead on what’s supposed to be the secondary focus of the cover, much like how most tend to tune out advertisements in publications or television.  But quite frankly any publicity or exposure for fiction is good for me.  Editor-in-chief David Granger also seems to be sincere in his effort to revive magazine fiction.  What are your thoughts?

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1 Comment

  1. Great coverage, literally! Seems the mainstream magazine industry once again blurs the line into porn. Earlier this year, the rage was food porn. Remember all those up close, glossy shots of strawberries and cheeseburgers? Now, I guess the racy new trend is fiction. I wonder what the next fill-in-the-blank porn star will be. This reminds me of the film, The Pillow Book. Ewan MacGregor, Vivian Wu, and words, words, words written all over the body. This just goes to show literature is ubiquitous, fit for all occasions. Hurrah!

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