In which we break down a single issue of a magazine according to how much we’d pay to read each article, and see if it adds up to the cover price.
“A Solution from Hell”
Apparently genocide is bad, but so is the entire moral and political framework we’ve constructed to justify the prevention of genocide. So… fuck.
People used to talk in person! Now they talk on gadgets! Doomed, I tell you! We’re all doomed!
“Christmas in Baltimore, 2009”
An Emory professor describes a visit home to inner-city Baltimore for the funeral of an old friend shot by police.
This excerpt from Helen DeWitt’s new novel is sometimes hilarious (the schlubby protagonist has an elaborate sex fantasy about a game show, but he keeps getting distracted by the imaginary rules and how the various contestants are cheating) and sometimes a drag (his aw-shucks monologues commit a tedious imitative fallacy).
A story about a young Turkish man in Cambridge, MA who sees something in an alley that looks scary for a moment, but turns out not to be. I’m not sure why this story exists.
A real gem, and probably the best-ever piece of journalism about The Gathering of the Juggalos. (Although this one was good, too.) This may be our generation’s answer to “The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved.”
It’s a bit of inside baseball for the managing editor of n+1 to write about the famous editor Gordon Lish. But goddamn, it’s good reading. Carla Blumenkranz investigates Lish’s early years as a teacher and editor in California, and somehow—amazingly—turns him into a towering, pathetic, compelling hero. Whatever this is excerpted from, I want to read the rest of it NOW.
“Cavell as Educator”
Greif, who has composed some of the most erudite, grandfatherly scholarship in n+1’s archives, may have jumped the shark here, with a tribute to an old philosophy professor of his. There are roughly four people in the world who care about this topic enough to finish the article, and they’re all Greif’s former classmates at Harvard.
“California Love Story”
A twentysomething talks about his nascent dating life as a gay man in light of a recent court ruling on gay marriage. This piece isn’t fully cooked. Let the author stew for another 20 years and maybe he’ll have a story.
Translated from Hebrew. Meh.
Like n+1’s earlier piece on the Gawker media empire, this is a combination of a behind-the-scenes look at a media property and a staunchly n+1 evaluation of Pitchfork’s cultural influence. Also like the Gawker piece, it’s an illuminating and authoritative critique.
“On The Book of Mormon”
Basically a theater review, but Dombek makes keen observations about the performative nature of religion, and takes Matt Parker and Trey Stone to task for tying a neat little bow around their musical.
“On Javier Cercas”
A detailed overview of the actions and themes covered in Anatomy of a Moment by Javier Cercas, in case you wanted to know.
Total value: $12.57
Cover price: $13.95
(Or you can wait for the articles to appear on n+1’s web site for free.)