Believer + n + 1

This morning’s New York Times Magazine features the following: “Among the Believers: In an age of blogging, reflexive ironizing and ceaseless celebrity worship, two small literary-intellectual magazines try to make a different kind of big noise.” In the six-page piece, A.O. Scott takes a pretty thoughtful look at The Believer and n+1. Near the conclusion, he writes:

“In the end, this may be the common ground n+1 and The Believer occupy: a demand for seriousness that cuts against ingrained generational habits of flippancy and prankishness. Their differences are differences of emphasis and style – and the failings that each may find in the other (or that even a sympathetic reader may find in both) come from their deep investments in voice, stance and attitude rather than in a particular set of ideas or positions. For The Believer, the way to take things seriously is to care about them – ‘to endow something with importance,’ in Julavits’s words, 'by treating it as an emotional experience.’ And this can lead, at times, to the credulous, seemingly disingenuous naivete that [n+1’s] Greif finds infantile. For n+1, the index of seriousness is thought for its own sake, which can sanction an especially highhanded form of intellectual arrogance.”

Good for both publications. I doubt editors of either expected this kind of attention for their low-paying, time-consuming efforts.

While I’m here: Kudos to St. Louis’s Tivoli theater for continuing to snag some especially juicy titles. In the past few weeks I was able to “The Best of Youth,” a six-hour Italian epic shown in two parts, and Wong Kar-Wai’s “2046.” Both were special treats.