Kristin Dombek’s The Selfishness of Others: An Essay on the Fear of Narcissism is just out from FSG, and over at n+1 she writes beguilingly, with humor and aplomb, about narcissists as hollow selves who become genius-tricksters at copying and adopting the brightest parts of the selves of others....more
Posts Tagged: n+1
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.
A lurid tale of sexual dishevelment, “Bobby Brown Goes Down” couldn’t get within a hundred miles of US radio but was, Zappa points out with some amusement, “the song to slow dance to in Norwegian discos.”
Paul Grimstad provides context for Frank Zappa’s artistic output to accompany the release of the documentary Eat That Question....more
HELLO. I was hoping I would run into you on the elevator today. Here, this scene would be perfect for you: A young man takes an orange from the bowl in the kitchen. He sits on the couch in the living room and peels it.
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....more
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.
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.
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.
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.
n+1 celebrates the launch of Issue Eighteen: Good News. Recess Activities, 8 p.m., $10 or free for subscribers....more
In a piece flawlessly titled “Reading While Female: How to Deal With Misogynists and Male Masturbation,” four female writers talk to each other about how women in college try to make sense of the male-dominated literature they’re taking in....more
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....more
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....more
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....more
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....more
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.”...more
This n+1 piece tracks the history of conversation, in different mediums. The vastly diverging worlds of talking vs. conversation vs. chatting online have all experienced their own evolution. Even just focusing on chat itself reveals a trajectory perpetually informed by the ways in which we chat online....more
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....more
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....more
A hedge-fund manager predicts the 2008 financial meltdown, but adds little to our understanding—or our sympathy....more
“I was being paid minimum wage by an important publisher to sit very still and, occasionally, walk across the floor.”
Writing on the subject of the publishing industry, especially if it is lyrical and done well, will never fail to interest me....more