THE BELIEVER MAY 2009
After a half decade away The Believer has returned home to McSweeney’s. To celebrate the momentous occasion, we’ve dug through our archives and found an extremely limited number of classic and timeless issues for your purchasing pleasure. Once these are gone, they’re gone forever.
Table of Contents:
A Scanner Darkly PAUL LA FARGE
Reading The Kindly Ones isn’t a comfortable experience, or an ennobling one. So why is it so compelling?
Every Reader Finds Himself CHRISTOPHER R. BEHA
One man’s single-minded immersion in the five-foot bookshelf that birthed the modern American research university.
Creative Accounting: The Puffy Chair M. REBEKAH OTTO
Call Me a Lyre, I Dare You: A new poem BOB HICOK
The Problem of Other People ADAM PHILLIPS AND BARBARA TAYLOR
Of kindness and self-interest, which is the stronger social adhesive?
Ida, Who Vanquishes Goblins HANNAH FRANK
Running the gauntlet of naming: why Isadora will succeed and Kaydence will fail.
Dr. Octagon JOHN ADAMIAN
The nineteenth-century architect, phrenologist, and “foulest man on Earth” speaks to our simplest and most gullible elements.
Real Life Rock Top Ten GREIL MARCUS
Getting in Line: A new poem BOB HICOK
One-Page Book Reviews VARIOUS
Daniel Handler on Joshua Beckman, Theodore McDermott on Patrick DeWitt, Jascha Hoffman on Horacio Castellanos Moya, Blake Butler on Jesse Ball, Kate Zambreno on Amina Cain, and Nick Bredie on Stacey Levine
Robert Smigel in conversation with BOB ODENKIRK
Two former SNL writers discuss the excellence of quiet, awkward comedy.
Sedaratives AASIF MANDVI
Out of the Woods MARY WILLIAMS
The wisdom of a woman in her late thirties walking away from her marriage and well-paying job to hike the Appalachian Trail alone.
Schema: The Phrenology of Cable News ANGIE WALLER
Nick Lowe in conversation with TODD BARRY
The English songwriter and producer reveals his fear of metronomes and certainty.
Christine Schutt in conversation with DEB OLIN UNFERTH
“Your obligation is to know your objects and to steadily, inexorably darken and deepen them.”
John Crowley interviewed by ED HALTER
The amateur scientist and professional author explains why the fiction section should be desegregated for his new novel.
Native: A new poem JESSICA FISHER
Mark McGurl micro-interviewed by LEE KONSTANTINOU