Posts Tagged: n+1

The Things Abandoned by Hollywood

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Thinking about his films while watching an American film leads to a sobering realization: all the things that Kiarostami could not show in his films became the only things Hollywood filmmakers chose to show in theirs. What he showed in his films were the things abandoned by Hollywood: conversation, friendship, understanding, compassion, and empathy.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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In a darkly humorous new story at n+1, Jen George questions the qualifications of being “adult,” gives thirty-somethings across the world nightmares, and packs in plenty of social criticism while she’s at it. The story, “Guidance/The Party,” follows a single, childless, career-less, 33-year-old woman who is visited by a mysterious Guide.

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Remembering Jenny Diski

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At n+1, philosopher and writer Justin E.H. Smith remembers Jenny Diski, and shares their correspondence. For Diski, death was always the subject, the knot to admire, wryly, and attempt to untie:

…the year before her diagnosis, Jenny invokes the bleak wisdom of Beckett’s line, “Birth was the death of him.” She wonders with Nabokov why we do not worry about the infinite abyss a parte ante, before we were born.

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Conversations with Writers Braver than Me #18: Anne Roiphe

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Anne Roiphe on respecting writers’ freedom to express the truth of their experiences, while also respecting their subjects’ prerogative to shun them for it. ...more

All Are Bad

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We’ve all read at least one: from “Against YA” to “Against Happiness,” essays that promise to dismiss entire abstract concepts using only rhetoric make for great click-bait. In The New Yorker, Ivan Kreilkamp explains why we keep overstating the case:

“Against [X]” is a symptom of a liberal culture’s longing to escape its own strictures; it’s the desire of thoughtful and nuanced people to shed their inhibitions and issue fearsome dicta.

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The Rise of a New Socialist Literary Scene

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Facing financial inequality and burdened with debt, millennials have discovered Marxism, writes Timothy Shenk for the Nation. And millennial writers are leveraging technology, rejecting old guard institutions, and constructing new forums for discussion:

Combine all this with some fondness for navel gazing and with the fortunes of geography—politics aside, New York writers are New York writers, and they like to talk about each other—and the pieces are in place for the articles declaring the rebirth of Marxism that have become a minor genre in the last year.

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The Incidental Bookseller

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In n+1‘s continuing examination of Amazon, Ruth Curry, co-founder of online bookstore Emily Books, looks at the relationship of the online megastore to publishers. Amazon’s entry into the publishing world was an accident:

Amazon was only incidentally a bookseller: Bezos liked books because online shoppers didn’t have to try them on or smell or measure them.

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Notable NYC: 1/4–1/10

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Saturday 1/4: Rosebud Ben-oni, Leopoldine Core, Kathy Ossip, Derek Pollard, and Bianca Stone join the quarterly reading series Couplet. Leah Umansky hosts. The Delancy, 7 p.m., free.

n+1 celebrates the launch of Issue Eighteen: Good News. Recess Activities, 8 p.m., $10 or free for subscribers.

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Elif Batuman Makes “Allopatric Speciation” Interesting

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You’d think an essay about Franco Moretti, morphology, and the diminution of classic novels to “five tiny dots in the graph of Figure 2” would be academic and sawdust-dry.

Not in the hands of Elif Batuman, who brings her wry humor and quiet appreciation of human absurdity to just such an essay in n + 1 without sacrificing any of the necessary intellectual rigor.

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Torture

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n+1 shares Marco Roth’s “On Torture and Parenting,” an essay originally published in 2006, in light of the release of Roth’s recent memoir, The Scientists: A Family Romance.

Roth, one of the founding editors of n+1, explores the parallels between parenting and torture, eventually leading to an exploration of the torture perpetrated by the then-current Bush Administration.

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Russian Punk Band Pussy Riot Sentenced to Two Years for ‘Hooliganism’

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Today in a Russian court, three members (Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, Maria Alekhina, 24, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30)  of the all-female Russian punk band Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years in prison for “hooliganism.”

(For those unfamiliar with the story, here is a round-up of links that we published last week.)

The trio had been facing up to seven years, but, after much deliberation, was sentenced to two years in prison for an anti-Putin song they performed in a church.

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The Death (and Rebirth?) of the Book Review

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Why review books? At The Awl, Jane Hu takes a historical approach to answering that question.

Quoting writers from Alexander Pope to Jonathan Franzen, Hu argues that the apparently ever-progressing “death” of the book review is perhaps a more nuanced process than it first appears:

“Perhaps a large problem in the decline of good criticism is that readers no longer know how, or where, to find critics, and, more importantly, how to define what makes it Good.”

Hu’s essay is in some aspects a continuation of the narrative established in Elizabeth Gumport’s 2011 essay “Against Reviews” for N+1, an impassioned argument for a complete rethinking of the form and its uses.

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“Stray Dogs”

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At n+1, Rafael Gumucio writes from within the Chilean student protests, recalling the rebellions of his generation–which grew up under the military regime–as he details the “hunger for equality” that characterizes current movements in Chile and beyond.

“Over the six long months of school sit-ins, marches, unavailing efforts at dialogue, barricades, and gunshots, everything shifted and is still shifting, an unending moral earthquake in a country that seemed to have turned away from great moral questionings, the pain of the dictatorship, the urgency of reconciliation.”

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What Is Already Living: Author, Autobiography and Fiction in the Age of Social Networking

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WRITE YOUR STORY reads the advertising placard for corporate octopus Citibank on display in the Union Square subway station in Manhattan. The campaign’s thrust appears to be this: by spending money, being a consumer, one, in fact, indites a story on the face of the everyday. ...more

Who Do We Invite To The Orgy?

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Tom Lutz at the Los Angeles Review of Books discusses Elizabeth Gumport’s essay in n+1 called “Against Reviews.”

Lutz writes “Taste cultures do have something to do with circles of intimates, and the explosion of book clubs in recent years is testimony to a general desire for, if not an orgy, at least something more personal and embodied than a Sunday book supplement.

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Regarding John Ross’ Ashes: A Very Specific Request

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Let’s collectively remember John Ross, a “relentless political and literary experimenter” with revolutionary tendencies.

Best known for his book Murdered by Capitalism and his coverage of the Zapatistas movement in Mexico, where he spent a significant portion of his life, Ross wandered the globe from San Francisco to Peru to Iraq, documenting his insurrectionist journeys. 

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