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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I posted the following as a conversation, but I am uncertain if it will be seen generally by members of this forum. So I am reposting it here as a thread. My apologies for any inconvenience.

I was in my university's library this afternoon searching for some journals, when I chanced upon some bound volumes labelled Esquire. The library actually has all of the issues of Esquire magazine starting with Volume 1, Number 1 from 1933. I borrowed the first two volumes (quite heavy) to keep for a bit, so that I can look through them at leisure. As you may know, this publication featured Laurence Fellows' wonderful, iconic drawings of gentlemen in classic suits, sport coats and odd trousers. So this evening will be spent perusing the pages of this great magazine, and enjoying the art of Mr Fellows.

I had often felt that someone should publish all of these drawings as a collection -- they would make a very handsome volume for aficionados of classic style. Well, there is a book with many of Fellows' and other artists' illustrations: It is on Amazon and called Men in Style: The Golden Age of Fashion from Esquire. And it has been discussed here on the forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I would love to browse through what you have found.

A shame you can't post a few examples.
The first issue (no. 1 vol.1) had an article on marlin fishing in Cuba by Ernest Hemingway and a short story by Dashiell Hammett, and a couple of lovely Fellows illustrations among other things. Yes, it is sad that I can't post anything -- I have no way of copying anything from such a large magazine with a page size of 14" x 10". I don't even possess a scanner! On the other hand, the Men in Style book can be downloaded free of charge. I think one location is in the thread below called Esquire:Men in Style. Another from which I just downloaded the whole book is here:

https://www.archive.org/stream/meninstylegolden00hochrich#page/n1/mode/2up

If you place your cursor on the top right where the button says ePub/pdf and click on pdf in the drop-down window options, you will have a downloaded book in pdf format. Looks splendid on my largish 24" Dell Ultra monitor. Happy Reading.
 

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I've been reading the book on line - and posting about it in the thread you mentioned - but what you have is much better - the original source material.

The short stories sound fantastic - pre TV, it's amazing how much more people read. Makes sense, but just amazing that short stories were so popular.
 

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The short stories sound fantastic - pre TV, it's amazing how much more people read. Makes sense, but just amazing that short stories were so popular.
To your point, there was a time when writers could actually make a good living writing for magazines.
 

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To your point, there was a time when writers could actually make a good living writing for magazines.
I used to make a decent amount of money on the side writing for financial publications until the internet came along. Probably, just how short story writers felt when TV took their audience. What is a amazing is how many people will write - smart, senior industry people will write long, engaging pieces, at least in the financial field - for free on the web.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've been reading the book on line - and posting about it in the thread you mentioned - but what you have is much better - the original source material.

The short stories sound fantastic - pre TV, it's amazing how much more people read. Makes sense, but just amazing that short stories were so popular.
I grew up in societies in the fifties and sixties (British Malaya, then India) where there was no television and just a single radio station run by the government. We had newspapers, magazines, and of course libraries filled with books. My first library was the USIS library which I joined at 11. I read a lot of American fiction and poetry, and learned a lot about the history and culture of the country that I later came to love and then become a citizen of. But in the old days, people read, talked about books, wrote things themselves. It was much better than watching TV, I think, although that medium has its merits.

One thing that amazed me about the Esquire magazine is how small the fonts were. They filled the large pages in multiple columns. And the cartoons were mostly in colour and quite large -- each cartoon took up an entire page. The adverts were also fascinating -- for Talon zippers, for cigarette lighters, and one for something called a Pakutter -- a device that neatly cut open a pack of cigarettes so that there was no mess!
 

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Drpeter—Thank you for the above post. I enjoyed reading your perspective.

In perusing decades-old source material related to clothing, I occasionally happen upon the word “weskit,” which is a phonetical rendering of “waistcoat.” The word was always used seriously and matter-of-factly—never in a cutesy attempt to mimic a British accent—and was not uncommon. It was a straightforward synonym for “vest.”

In modern writing, I hardly ever—perhaps never—see “weskit.” I’d like to see it come back.
 

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I grew up in societies in the fifties and sixties (British Malaya, then India) where there was no television and just a single radio station run by the government. We had newspapers, magazines, and of course libraries filled with books. My first library was the USIS library which I joined at 11. I read a lot of American fiction and poetry, and learned a lot about the history and culture of the country that I later came to love and then become a citizen of. But in the old days, people read, talked about books, wrote things themselves. It was much better than watching TV, I think, although that medium has its merits.

One thing that amazed me about the Esquire magazine is how small the fonts were. They filled the large pages in multiple columns. And the cartoons were mostly in colour and quite large -- each cartoon took up an entire page. The adverts were also fascinating -- for Talon zippers, for cigarette lighters, and one for something called a Pakutter -- a device that neatly cut open a pack of cigarettes so that there was no mess!
I read a lot and I watch a decent amount of TV. I get TV's appeal - there's an ease and immediacy to it, so I'm not surprised it's successful. I also think there are some great shows on TV - smart, thought provoking, challenging and highly entertaining. And, sometimes, a good mindless show is all I want.

What surprises me is not TV's success, but how reading has lost so much of its audience. My girlfriend and I read a lot and have several friends who also are regular readers - we love swapping books, talking about them, etc. I'm amazed that more people don't enjoy doing that. A not-mega-hit-but-successful TV show will have hundreds of thousand of viewers, a NYT bestseller might have fifty thousand readers (away from the few mega-books / authors, that's all it takes to be a bestseller - and it's ridiculously hard to do).

I don't have any of the stats I've read at hand, but reading has been in a long slow decline for decades in the general public. I simply don't get it.
 

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I don't have any of the stats I've read at hand, but reading has been in a long slow decline for decades in the general public. I simply don't get it.
For all the information that's out there, and more available than ever, Americans read less and less. I can't say why this has become a trend, but it has resulted in a less informed public. Is it any wonder many people can't comprehend a newspaper editorial? Or sort out obvious fake news from real news? No wonder Trump got elected.
 

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Just finished the book (nice to have Good Friday off) - thoroughly enjoyable.

Not only are the illustrations insane, but the descriptions show a thoughtfulness for details - the exact type of collar, the weight and weave of the fabric (and how it drapes), the shade of a color - that seems to be missing in today's fashion-focused magazines and articles.

That said, you will see this attention to detail here at AAAC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Drpeter-Thank you for the above post. I enjoyed reading your perspective.

In perusing decades-old source material related to clothing, I occasionally happen upon the word "weskit," which is a phonetical rendering of "waistcoat." The word was always used seriously and matter-of-factly-never in a cutesy attempt to mimic a British accent-and was not uncommon. It was a straightforward synonym for "vest."

In modern writing, I hardly ever-perhaps never-see "weskit." I'd like to see it come back.
My memory is that the word waistcoat has two pronunciations, the first being "waistcoat", pretty much as spelled, and the second being "weskit", which I believe is an alternate form that is the result of what I call speeded pronunciation. The OED lists both pronunciations with weskit as the second. Now, in India and the UK as well, many words are pronounced fast and that means letters get slurred together; "histry" for history, "litricher" for literature, "mandatry" for mandatory ( an many other words ending in -ory), even "sooprund" for superintendent and so on. The more extreme forms of slurring have become more widely accepted: bo'sun/boatswain, gunnel/gunwale, foc'sle/forecastle, blaggard/blackguard, etc. Then there are stranger things. I did national service in a paramilitary outfit trained by the Indian Army, and inexplicably a Provost Marshal ( the leader of a military police unit ) is pronounced Provo Marshal, which makes it sound like the sheriff of that town in Utah! New usages are constantly coming up and one of the things I have heard my young students say is "I'ma" which stands for "I am going to". Language is a living thing, and in Australia, Armageddon means "Armageddin' outa here"
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I read a lot and I watch a decent amount of TV. I get TV's appeal - there's an ease and immediacy to it, so I'm not surprised it's successful. I also think there are some great shows on TV - smart, thought provoking, challenging and highly entertaining. And, sometimes, a good mindless show is all I want.

What surprises me is not TV's success, but how reading has lost so much of its audience. My girlfriend and I read a lot and have several friends who also are regular readers - we love swapping books, talking about them, etc. I'm amazed that more people don't enjoy doing that. A not-mega-hit-but-successful TV show will have hundreds of thousand of viewers, a NYT bestseller might have fifty thousand readers (away from the few mega-books / authors, that's all it takes to be a bestseller - and it's ridiculously hard to do).

I don't have any of the stats I've read at hand, but reading has been in a long slow decline for decades in the general public. I simply don't get it.
Fading Fast, you're bang on target! The reading of traditional material has declined, but people do read constantly: the stuff that comes through on their iPhones, iPads, laptops, etc. Considering the amount of material (mostly pablum) that gets posted through blogs, social media like FB and Twitter, and websites of all kinds, it seems to be books and newspapers that have fallen by the wayside. There will always be a small group of people who will read serious literature, or history or philosophy, and writers of fiction and poetry will also find their niche readership. The trouble is that in the current environment, there are so many things for people to do that are fun for them. When I was a lad, reading novels took me to other countries and cultures. Now one can hop on a plane and go places directly, one doesn't need to read about them!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
For all the information that's out there, and more available than ever, Americans read less and less. I can't say why this has become a trend, but it has resulted in a less informed public. Is it any wonder many people can't comprehend a newspaper editorial? Or sort out obvious fake news from real news? No wonder Trump got elected.
I'd better not get started! I was a university professor for close to thirty years, and the situation with regard to reading, writing and critical thinking is abysmal. In the small watches of the night, I sometimes feel I have failed all of my students, they have gone out into the world and become gullible people who can be hoodwinked by that particular brand of American snake-oil salesmanship that many of our politicians deliver. More and more, we seem to live in a culture where there are no facts, no truths, and hardly a real value in sight.
 

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Fading Fast, you're bang on target! The reading of traditional material has declined, but people do read constantly: the stuff that comes through on their iPhones, iPads, laptops, etc. Considering the amount of material (mostly pablum) that gets posted through blogs, social media like FB and Twitter, and websites of all kinds, it seems to be books and newspapers that have fallen by the wayside.
What is now read (by many) is some condensed, filtered, tweaked version of events or ideas: not so much what happened or was said, but which "side" did/said it, and what that "means" socially or politically.
 
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