Fresh off their buzz-generating profile in the New York Times Magazine, the folks at n+1 welcomed old fans and curious newcomers to Brooklyn last Saturday night to celebrate the publication of the literary journal’s third issue.
In many ways, it was a typical gathering of literary scene-makers, in the sense that it strongly resembled a middle-school dance. Held on the third (and top) floor of a warehouse/factory space, the dimensions of the party room were similar to those of a middle-school gymnasium (just such a gym was where the second-issue launch party was allegedly held, but The Olive wasn’t there). Boys and girls tentatively mingled at first, then a few tentatively made out in front of strangers and, finally, as the night waned, most of them danced with abandon. Or rather, danced as best they could, which, with literary nerds, often resembles abandon.
All in all, an enjoyable time. The DJ was nearly impeccable – this scene-maker particularly enjoyed “Rich Girl” by Hall & Oates – even if all night the volume on the speakers was set to Stun. Lots of interesting people to talk to, but conversation came with the risk of severe vocal-cord damage.
I didn’t see A.O. Scott anywhere, but it was easy enough to find the industrious young Brooklynites who run the magazine – they were taking cover payments at the door, signing up subscribers, stocking the bar, serving $1 drinks, and generally acting like the hardest-working literary upstarts this side of the Gowanus Canal. A quick perusal of the new issue justifies their recent time in the spotlight – hyper-intelligent thoughts on dating, Radiohead, and the commodification of lower-class signifiers, as well as a long-ish essay by James Wood responding to the magazine’s mission statement. Long may they practice algebra…