N1BR: Issue 5

November 2009

In L. J. Davis’s excellent A Meaningful Life, published a year after Desperate Characters, Lowell Lake, married managing editor of “a second-rate plumbing-trade weekly,” impulsively purchases a brownstone in Fort Greene. Once home to an industrial baron, it is now a half-decayed rooming house. The novel is dense with details of Lowell’s labor: by its final third, neither he nor the narrative leaves the house. More…

In July 2008, while traveling on a Greyhound bus between Edmonton and Winnipeg, Vincent Li beheaded his sleeping seatmate, a man he had never met, with a butcher knife. Li held up the head in crazed triumph as the bus screeched to a halt and the other passengers rushed out. More…

On December 7th, 2006, in a blog entry on “Offprints in the Digital Age,” honestly reprinted in its entirety, n+1 friend and frequent contributor Caleb Crain assured his readers, “not even I am so nineteenth-century as to have my essays privately printed.” But he has now gone and done just that! Not just his essays but the blog itself, “Steamboats Are Ruining Everything.” More…

Crawford’s book, Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work, describes the emotional and cerebral satisfactions of skilled manual labor; it is an attempt to restore dignity to, and propose renewed pedagogical emphasis on, such work in the softer, more circumspect era of the “knowledge economy.” More…

Image: Dana Schutz, Eye Eater, 2004. Oil on canvas, 60" x 72". Courtesy of Zach Feuer Gallery, New York.