Thursday, May 10, 2007

Modern-day Rockwell

One magazine my parents had (and still have) a subscription to was/is Reader's Digest.
According to wikipedia, an awful lot of people read this magazine...

Do you know it?

It's available in dozens of languages, which makes it good for practicing your languages. The articles are very easy to read and in some cases there's some audio. Have a look!

Ok, so who is Payne guy? He reminds me very much of a modern-day Norman Rockwell in that he seems to be able to capture the American spirit/lifestyle/culture/mentality,...... whatever, quite well. Female soldiers in Iraq, Waste Lines, or Thanksgiving.
Rockwell's picture of Thanksgiving (1943, I was called "Freedom from Want"... was a lot different!

From the Reader's Digest website:

The artwork of C. F. Payne -- perhaps America's best-known contemporary
illustrator -- appears on the back cover of every issue of Reader's Digest. It
celebrates a slice of modern American life with provocative, relevant images of
our culture. His work is reminiscent of the art of Norman Rockwell --
contemporary and classic, timely and timeless.

What do you think of these pictures? Are there any that you like or find interesting?

Which ones teach you some about contemporary American culture?

Which ones are very unusual to the Austrian eye? A kind of "visual culture shock"?

TASK1: Write a short description for a blind friend of yours describing one of the pictures.

TASK2: Write a short reaction piece discussing some of the cultural messages in the picture. What is Payne saying about Americans?


  1. The Reader's Digest website looks very interesting. It seems like there are lots of good articles about various topics. I'm sure I'll find something to write about in my blog.

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  3. Isn't that cool...!?! I like this website! I've just explored Reader's Digest and now here I am sitting and philosophizing about the question: "Am I nuts?" hihihi :-)
    No seriously...I've found so many interesting articles (such as the one that will unravel the mystery about my mental condition;-)) and you'll definitely read about them in my blog.
    What I like most about RD is that I can read Hungarian stuff as well and that's so nice for a change.
    Cool site!!!

  4. I know this magazine well. We also subscribed Reader's Digest for many years until it was flooded with advertisements.

    When I was a little girl, I read there an article about the development of biological arms. Scientists were said to have created a virus that could harm the human immune system seriously. I have often remembered this contribution.

    Last March, when I spent my holiday in Croatia I bought the latest issue of Reader's Digest, in Croatian of course.