Who is your reader?
Keith Gessen is editor-in-chief of n+1, a twice-yearly magazine of literature, politics, and culture based in New York City.
Gessen graduated from Harvard College and earned his MFA in Creative Writing from Syracuse University in 2004. Gessen, who was born in Russia, has written about Russia for The Atlantic and the New York Review of Books. Gessen has also written about books for magazines including Dissent, Slate, and New York, where he was the regular book critic.
His first novel, All the Sad Young Literary Men, was published in April 2008.
Question: Who is your reader?\r\n
Keith Gessen: Above all, I think this book is for people who are getting out of school, and they’re wondering, as I wondered ten years ago, how this thing works, and what’s going to happen to them. And they’re probably not in New York. They’re probably in Cleveland or Philadelphia or Portland. And they’re wondering, how do I make a life for myself? As a writer, as an intellectual- now, you won’t actually learn that from the book- you learn a lot of things that you shouldn’t do. <chuckles>
But I think if, you know, I felt like when I- and I loved reading books about writers when I was younger, and I still do- and those books, you know, Balzac, Lost Illusions, one of my favorite books- New Grub Street, by Gissing, where everyone starves- everyone literally starves. And those books are very funny, and yet, in a way, they’re- they don’t actually- they’re not that useful to a writer in a- you know, a young person in 2008. They are very dramatic. They’re very melodramatic. The choices that they put before their characters are very stark. In fact, it turns out that the choices that you have in this life are a lot less stark than that. They’re very subtle, and so it’s- I tried to be true to that experience.\r\n
All The Sad Young Literary Men is for college grads wondering "how this works," says Gessen.
These modern-day hermits can sometimes spend decades without ever leaving their apartments.
- A hikikomori is a type of person in Japan who locks themselves away in their bedrooms, sometimes for years.
- This is a relatively new phenomenon in Japan, likely due to rigid social customs and high expectations for academic and business success.
- Many believe hikikomori to be a result of how Japan interprets and handles mental health issues.
How a cataclysm worse than what killed the dinosaurs destroyed 90 percent of all life on Earth.
While the demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention as far as mass extinctions go, an even more disastrous event called "the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all life on the planet.
A new study discovers the “liking gap” — the difference between how we view others we’re meeting for the first time, and the way we think they’re seeing us.
We tend to be defensive socially. When we meet new people, we’re often concerned with how we’re coming off. Our anxiety causes us to be so concerned with the impression we’re creating that we fail to notice that the same is true of the other person as well. A new study led by Erica J. Boothby, published on September 5 in Psychological Science, reveals how people tend to like us more in first encounters than we’d ever suspect.
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