I had to do a triple-take on this observation, from a recent On Being podcast episode about Hannah Arendt. The speaker is Arendt scholar Lyndsey Stonebridge:

I hadn’t realized this until I’d looked either, that in The New Yorker, between ’62 and ’63, the autumn of ’62 and the spring of ’63, three essays were published. One was Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. Then that was followed by James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time. Then Hannah Arendt on the Eichmann Trial. Within six months. And with laying out with visionary precision, the poisonous master plots of contemporary life: violent racism, planet catastrophe, banality of evil, right in front of us.

Wow. Silent Spring, The Fire Next Time, and Eichmann in Jerusalem, all published within six months of the life of a print magazine.

If there’s an outlet that vital today, I don’t know about it. (I’d love to hear about it.)

Or maybe there are outlets, and individuals, out there today doing similar caliber work. If so, they’re no doubt being relegated to obscurity by “the algorithm” and by gatekeepers saying things like “nobody is going to read a 40,000-word piece.” I hope they keep on producing their best work in spite of all that.