How do you make it "from Novelist to Marxist Public Intellectual"? David Wallace-Wells' profile of Benjamin Kunkel in New York magazine shares several secrets for this epic journey, and reveals several things about this contemporary mode of "Marxist Public Intellectual." Let's read closely, and see what we can learn about achieving that particular moniker.
Hedge fund titan John Paulson is turning 54 today. Former Hollywood titan Michael Ovitz is turning 63. Tween queen Vanessa Hudgens turns 21. Novelist Benjamin Kunkel turns 37. Cliff Richards, the AC/DC bassist (and father of MTV's Erin Lucas), is 60. Writer Stanley Crouch turns 64. Child actress Patty Duke is 63. Aussie model/actress Sophie Monk is 30. Social fixture Eleanor Ylvisaker is 33. And Jane Birkin, the actress and singer who also inspired the Hermès bag by the same name, turns 63 today.
Ed Koch is turning 84 today. Happy birthday, Mr. Mayor! Jennifer Connelly is 38. Actor Tom Wilkinson is turning 60. Hollywood powerhouse Paula Wagner is turning 62. Fox Business anchor Liz Claman is 45. Rory Kennedy, the youngest daughter of Bobby Kennedy, is 40. Model Bridget Hall is turning 31. Dionne Warwick is 68. Mayim Bialik (yes, Blossom) is 33. And your favorite game show host ever, Bob Barker, is celebrating his 85th. Weekend birthdays below!
The highbrow low-pay publishing community has long suffered from a startling male-female attractiveness imbalance exemplified by the case of that American Apparel modeling Paris Review intern. I mean, if Jessica Roy was ever right about anything, it is that.* But for its work righting the prettiness gap perhaps we owe a debt of "gratitude" to the most important literary journal of our time, N+1, whose founding editors Keith Gessen and Benjamin Kunkel are not only decidedly conventionally attractive but extra reviled on the basis of that fact. And as the Observer noticed today, N+1 is now employing male contributor Wesley Yang (and his wavy hair I will refrain from calling a "mane") in the new capacity of T-shirt pitchman. Yang, you might recall if you are one of N+1's numerous readers, originally ascended to literary microfame in a piece in the last issue about how he related to Virginia Tech school shooter Seung Hui-Cho for feeling fundamentally "unlovable."Look, at some point I actually scanned in the good parts.
And how many more lives will it ruin before it's finally shut off? n+1, the most important literary magazine of our time, came to the sad conclusion that the internet will never "blow over," in the words of one panelist, n+1's Mark Greif. And so they organized a forum called "The Internet: We All Live There Now." I swallowed a Xanax, along with my pride, and checked it out.