As usual, I’ve dilly-dallied on reading the latest New Yorker until it only has a few more days on the newsstands, but for any fellow Adam Gopnik fans, the July 4 issue is indispensable (as usual, they don’t put Gopnik’s piece online—they know how to sell a magazine). “Death of a Fish” (“Through a glass bowl, darkly”) begins:
When our five-year-old daughter Olivia’s goldfish, Bluie, died, the other week, we were confronted by a crisis larger, or, at least, more intricate, than is entirely usual upon the death of a pet. Bluie’s life and his passing came to involve so many cosmic elements—including the problem of consciousness and the plotline of Hitchcock’s “Vertigo”—that it left us all bleary-eyed and a little shaken.
It’s as good as “Bumping into Mr. Ravioli,” and that’s high praise indeed. A word of warning: those of you who have not seen Vertigo (and I must deplore the New Yorker‘s cockamamie tradition of putting movie titles in quotes) should not read the article until you’ve seen the movie, because there are spoilers aplenty. (Then again, why haven’t you seen Hitchcock’s greatest movie yet?) The rest of you, you know what to do.