Jonathan Lethem Wants You to Know How Much Smarter Unemployed Literature Students Are Than You

These are your N+1

“They’re the precursor of this kind of synthesis of extrainstitutional intellectualism, native to the Internet, native to the city dweller,” said the author of Chronic City, referring to a group of hyper-literate N+1 types running The New Inquiry in an article for The New York Times. Oy.

Let’s see what we’re working with here:

The New Inquiry is edited by Rachel Rosenfelt, 26, who graduated from Barnard College in 2009. Though she had some luck finding work, her exposure to the literary establishment left her unimpressed. “It killed my interest in publishing,” she said of her internship at The New Yorker during her freshman year. “It just felt like they had all ‘arrived.’ It was boring. No one talked. The only real rule was, ‘Don’t mess this up.’ ”

Atossa Abrahamian, 25, an editor, has written for New York magazine. Sarah Leonard, 23, is an associate editor at Dissent. Mr. Harris, 22, who was sifting through grad-school rejection notices a year ago, has written for N + 1 and Utne Reader and has been called out by Glenn Beck on television…

Continuing around the circle, Ms. Fitzgerald, the would-be magazine writer, read from “The Cantos,” by Ezra Pound. Mr. Osterweil, the frustrated novelist, read from Guy Debord’s “Society of the Spectacle.” Tim Barker, a junior at Columbia, awkwardly admitted that he, too, had chosen a reading from Debord. (What are the odds?)

Yeah sure, they sound all very sophisticated now, but give them a couple months on the island and they’ll be running around with a conch shell determining whose turn it is to read from Discourse on Method, and parading around Keith Gessen’s head on a sharp pole.