Oct

17

I Wish This Came Out My Freshmen Year

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Though most of us are bogged down with midterms and papers, Bwog writer Hannah Goldfield provides some alternative reading.


Ducking your head and barreling through the cloud of cigarette smoke outside Butler might be worth it tonight. Act fast and you can snag a copy of poli-lit-culture journal n+1’s latest pamphlet, distributed, guerrilla-style, throughout the library a few hours ago.

Titled “What We Should Have Known,” the unassuming, slim, blue volume is targeted at college freshmen, meant to help them traverse the intellectual spiderweb in which they’re bound to get caught over the next four years. It consists specifically of transcripts of two panel discussions (which took place this past summer at the n+1 headquarters) about books, mostly: the books you’re assigned to read and the books the panel members, a mix of n+1 editors and contributors, think you should read, on your own, sooner rather than later. If you get lost in the sea of titles, don’t fret–the ones that truly changed their lives are conveniently compiled into lists on the last few pages.

After tonight, “What We Should Have Known” will set you back $10–unless you’re a freshman, in which case you might find a copy slipped under your door tomorrow, or, if not, your student ID will get you one for free. Because saving untainted souls from the Western Canon–or at least guiding them through it–is priceless.

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26 Comments

  1. Anonymous  

    Augustine wasn't white, and I wish you'd all stop perpetuating the stereotype that he was. In addition, the compilers of the Old and New Testaments also would likely not pass as white in today's society (as well as Jesus, but that should go without saying). Also, unless you think Dubois is a token black dude or an Uncle Tom, I think you should mention him as an exception to the white male rule.

    But I don't want to start a debate about this stupid shit. I'd rather know what they suggest we read without paying ten bucks?

  2. Yup  

    Ditto the last comment. For once, I'm actually interested in hearing what freshmen have to say. Speak, ye minions!

  3. etc  

    I'm glad that n+1 is "articulating a better reason to read the best books ever written than that they authorize and underwrite a system of brutal economic competition and inequality."

    Good thing we've got an alternative to that oft-used, highly persuasive argument for the Core.

  4. hmph

    check out the actual suggestions made in the pamphlet. homer? cervantes? salinger? there's really not much revolutionary in there. even delillo and james wood aren't, even if they're a hundred years too recent to grace lit hum syallabi.

    they originally planned to distribute this at harvard which would make more sense considering it has no core and its undergraduates learn little outside of whatever narrow interests they whimsically pursue. no wonder the n+1 editors "regret going to college"...

  5. someone

    please post the suggestions

  6. THE GEOMETER  

    SOMETHING STUPID THAT IS SORT OF RELATED TO GEOMETRY. MY EXISTENCE IS MOST DISPLEASING

  7. hiii  

    i have a crush on the geometer.

  8. Wowzas  

    You are an idiot.

  9. anybody know  

    if these are still in butler?

  10. oh my god  

    the ny sun columnist was right in prophesying that n+1 probably has cult worshippers at columbia, including the writer of this article. i refused to believe it, but now i'm embarrassed.

  11. what  

    tables were they on? were they just scattered around the library or something?

  12. wait--  

    where do we get one with our id?

    • here:  

      [email protected]

  13. OMG!!!!!  

    Mark Krotov is so hot.

  14. ohh  

    whoa, I've been wondering what the deal was with these pamphlets that have been sitting in front of me for the last few hours.

  15. I hate this school  

    Throw the word "guerilla" on something and the hipsters on this campus cream their pants. Counter-culture isn't counter-culture. Develop your own identities.

  16. Alex Star

    Keith Gessen is pretentious, second-rate version of me.

  17. i read it  

    it was in butler coffee shop,i read it, it sucked.....none of the lists have books you havet heard of before, the people in it are really pretentious, i dont know why they made such a book, i am just completely confused as to why it was published and why it is news

  18. just so you know

    keith gessen is really good in bed

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