Sometimes-angry, always intelligent, deeply earnest, n+1, protesting against the glib, the slick and the trendy, is...

HAPPINESS

TEN YEARS OF N+1

The editors of the feisty literary journal celebrate their 10th anniversary with a collection.

“Happiness” is one “Intellectual Situation” that the editors identify, along with the death of literary theory, the relationship of hype to aesthetics, and the impact of Gchats on such apparently anachronistic behaviors as talking and listening. The trivialization of happiness, though, does not function as a unifying theme for essays that consider an assortment of contemporary issues, including climate change, parenthood, pornography and, not surprisingly, money. Mark Greif, one of the magazine’s founders, proposes a formula to end inequality that’s even more radical than Thomas Picketty’s: Cap everyone’s income at $100,000, add a tax bracket of 100 percent “to cut off individual income at a fixed ceiling,” and bestow on every citizen $10,000 per year “in recognition of being an adult in the United States.” Greif believes money should never be an incentive to work; it “would be the greatest single triumph of human emancipation” if bankers and star athletes abandoned jobs they were doing for the money, freeing them to “be high school teachers, social workers, general practitioners, stay-at-home parents, or criminals and layabouts.” Keith Gessen laments the difficulty of earning a living as a writer, forcing most into day jobs. He wound up teaching creative writing, which he first considered a sham but then came to enjoy: “I even began to feel, in a way I’d never felt as a student, that the old saw about how you can’t teach writing was possibly untrue.” Several essays focus on literature: Diana Abbott reflects on writing about J.M. Coetzee; Elif Batuman recalls a particularly surreal conference on Isaac Babel; Marco Roth laments the transformation of “the novel of consciousness or the psychological or confessional novel” into the neurological novel, in which the self is reduced to neurochemistry.

Sometimes-angry, always intelligent, deeply earnest, n+1, protesting against the glib, the slick and the trendy, is well-represented by this articulate collection.

Pub Date: Sept. 9, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-86547-822-0

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Faber & Faber/Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: July 8, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

Did you like this book?

IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more