Fear and Loathing at the n+1 Party

The office was tiny and everyone at the party was sweating. Keith Gessen, one of the hosts, was pouring wine

The office was tiny and everyone at the party was sweating. Keith Gessen, one of the hosts, was pouring wine and opening beer behind a table while the n+1 extended family—mostly editors, journalists, and novelists who have supported the literary magazine since its birth in 2004—piled in and tried not to touch each other. Taken together they looked like a posse; most everyone had been to an n+1 party before, and despite the heat, they looked happy to be at another one.

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The occasion on Saturday was the publication of a new n+1 pamphlet, What We Should Have Known, a primer for college students made up of two panel discussions about life in the academy, reading, and regret.

In keeping with the pamphlet, college was in the air; one guest described the room as "a dormitory but cooler," and with its fairy lights, dartboard, empty pizza boxes, and jettisoned beer bottles, it certainly retained a sense of youthfulness. There was even a computer sitting out on a desk, with an internet browser window open to urbandictionary.com (someone had been looking up the phrase "get it in," which means, for reference, "to fuck bitches").

Indeed, the n+1 office was, in a way, built for college students: according to Mark Greif–one of the magazine’s founding editors, along with Mr. Gessen, Marco Roth, and Benjamin Kunkel–the operation was originally run out of Mr. Gessen’s Brooklyn apartment, but requests for internships eventually forced the editors to get a proper place. ("Interns seem easier to find than subscribers,’ Mr. Greif said.)

Standing by the door, a young friend of the magazine named Charles told The Observer with some shock that earlier in the evening, Gawker editor Emily Gould had been at the party. "Gawker approves of some things," he said, "but we are just not one of them. They loathe us."

Ms. Gould had indeed been at the party, and as it turned out, she hadn’t left at all, but was talking quite happily to Mr. Gessen near the bar. Asked by The Observer how she was enjoying the party, she said only, "It’s hot and it smells of pizza."

Fear and Loathing at the n+1 Party