Wednesday, December 1, 2010

n+1 magazine (number nine)

n+1 #9 Spring 2010

n+1 is an intellectual magazine of more than 200 pages, published twice a year. Much of it has given over to non-fiction, but fiction can outdo all the non-fiction at once: this is a snippet of the novel «The Ask» by Sam Lipsyte. It is a pity that this is only a fragment, not a separate story, but it is still phenomenally funny: makes sense that Lipsyte is one of the best living writers.

Coverage of topics in non-fiction section ranges from the zombie renaissance to the avant-garde food. What impresses in all articles, is the fact that, whatever painful topic for the society (not just the U.S.) are not covered, the authors dispense with the tantrums, blaming everyone and everything, but approach to writing, on the contrary, with irony.

We will know what webism is and how it became a social movement. Will know is whether in fact full employment in terms of practice and theory. From the report «Miami Party Boom» by Emily Witt we soon learn about Witt, than about the boom of partying. This, however, does not hurt the report. Terrible things are described in the section «Magazines of the Americas». Those who live in Russia, already accustomed to incessant terror in parts of the country. In Mexico, such terror covers the whole country completely. Two articles in this section are more calls for help than the weighted notes, but it's worth reading: terrible things happen in Mexico. The article by Mark Greif «Octomom, One Year Later» is a detailed account of how contemporary American society reacted to Nadya Suleman, who in January of 2009, gave birth to eight babies, and what Nadya experienced within the year since the birth of children. The reviews section has not only books reviews (explanatory analysis of recent books about zombies and attempt to comprehend their success with the readers from Mark McGurl), but also food review. Molly Young tried three so-called "miracle fruit". The highlight of this issue in my opinion is the second part (easy to read in isolation from the first) of travel writing by Elif Batuman «Summer in Samarkand» about author’s travel to Uzbekistan. It seems so easy to write a funny piece about how people of a civilized nation has visited Uzbekistan, but Batuman easily coped with this problem, incidentally also raised a number of important themes: the differences and similarities of people, understanding, how selective our memories are.

In general, as they say on the internet, plus one to this journal. Great read.

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