introducing readers to writers since 1995

November 19, 2004

"It's like Partisan Review, except not dead"

by Ron Hogan

Labyrinth Books, on Manhattan's Upper West Side in the general vicinity of Columbia, has got to be the only bookstore I've ever been in which I would swear with near certainty arranges its display tables according to what's reviewed and advertised in the New York Review of Books. But that's a good thing--and it makes the store the perfect venue for a reading by various editors of n+1, a new literary magazine which makes rather delightful sport of its own struggle to survive on its web site. Keith Gessen, whose story "Like Vaclav" is reason enough to buy the latest edition of Best New American Voices, introduced fellow editors Mark Greif, who explained the meaning of life as "eudynamistic hedonism" or the pursuit of experiences, Marco Roth, who remembered a graduate seminar in Paris Jacques Derrida and pointed out the shabby treatment he got at the hands of the NYT obit department, and Benjamin Kunkel, who read an excerpt from his forthcoming novel. It's an eclectic mix of philosophy, personal journalism, and fiction which some folks might be too trepidatious to try to fit under one editorial roof, but these guys are going for it and more power to them.

The headline, by the way, comes from a NY Sun story that ran when the issue first came out a few months back.

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