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.

Value: $0.50



People used to talk in person! Now they talk on gadgets! Doomed, I tell you! We’re all doomed!

Value: $0.02


“Christmas in Baltimore, 2009”

Lawrence Jackson

An Emory professor describes a visit home to inner-city Baltimore for the funeral of an old friend shot by police.

Value: $0.80


“Lightning Rods”

Helen DeWitt

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).

Value: $1.09


“The Mouse”

Siddhartha Deb

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.

Value: $0.01


“American Juggalo”

Kent Russell

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.”

Value: $3.74


“Captain Midnight”

Carla Blumenkranz

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.

Value: $3.63


“Cavell as Educator”

Mark Greif

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.

Value: $0.00


“California Love Story”

Alexander Borinsky

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.

Value: $0.03


“Six Poems”

Yitzhak Laor

Translated from Hebrew. Meh.

Value: $0.01


“On Pitchfork”

Richard Beck

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.

Value: $2.27


“On The Book of Mormon”

Kristin Dombek

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.

Value: $0.32


“On Javier Cercas”

Gideon Lewis-Kraus

A detailed overview of the actions and themes covered in Anatomy of a Moment by Javier Cercas, in case you wanted to know.

Value: $0.14


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.)

Brian Hurley


Filed under where does my money go

5 Responses to WHERE DOES MY MONEY GO? n+1 Issue 12

  1. John


    “California Love Story” is a perfect memoir – universal moments shared by us all, even if we’re not gay, male, young, whatever. your reviewer is dead wrong! Literally just noticed this is a WordPress site, so I guess, your referral hits speak for themselves on your non-influence. Just to let you know, as a librarian, I will counteract your lies.

  2. Matthew

    For what it’s worth, I very much agree that the piece is “not fully cooked.” In fact, all of the reviews in this issue are pretty dead on. I might have added a quarter to Solution From He’ll and maybe fifteen cents to the Dombek piece.

  3. Mike

    Is it worth it if you get “The Art of Fielding” with your subscription?


  4. Brian Hurley

    Let’s see. They’re charging $45 for 3 issues and the Harbach book, or $60 for 6 issues and the Harbach book. So they’re valuing the additional 3 issues at $15. If 3 issues are worth $15, then they value the Harbach at $30. If we use our $12.57 valuation of Issue 12 as an estimate of the value of all other issues, then the $45 package is a savings of $7.57 per issue, or $22.71 overall. But the list price of the Harbach is actually $25.99, so (if we take that as the true value of the Harbach) the overall savings goes down to $18.70. With the $60 package the overall savings is $41.41. Does that look right?

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