"It is, unfortunately, not enough to be honest in this city," writes 20-year-old NYU student Jess Roy on her blog Jess and Josh Talk About Stuff. Meet Jess: she wants to make it in the New York media jungle, went to some annoying-sounding literary parties, and is now escaping to Paris for a few months. And she's feisty! "I will not give blowjobs for bylines. I will not laugh at peoples' unfunny jokes because I want them to be impressed by me. I will not become someone else so that I can be absorbed into this elite, nefarious world where people trade intellect like currency." Oh, but there's more, written for the Daily Intel. After the jump, a harrowing tale that includes "n+1 interns, underage Lolitas in slutty dresses... sucking lollipops and carrying six-packs of Blue Moon."
(Excerpted; read the full story here):
On Saturday night, Leon Neyfakh of the New York Observer picked my friend Alec Niedenthal and I up in downtown Brooklyn. Alec is a 17-year-old literary whiz kid and friend of mine whom Leon had written about in the Observer after Alec wrote an incendiary letter to the New York Times. He'd come to New York to meet with a potential publisher.
We walked with Leon to another guy's house. I'll call him Sebastian. Along the way we plucked up a couple of n+1 interns, underage Lolitas in slutty dresses. They were sucking lollipops and carrying six packs of Blue Moon. These girls seemed like they would fuck anyone for a byline, and the men were even worse, charming them with discussions about Gaddis' The Recognitions or the glory of the em dash. Everything I had begun to suspect - that n+1 was a place where old guys who never got laid in high school finally have their pick of the fine young crop [YES, YOU ARE CORRECT. -Ed]—felt wholly true in those moments leading up to entering Sebastian's house. I felt suddenly hollowed.
Sebastian lives with his parents in a multi-million-dollar brownstone in Brooklyn... Everyone there went to Columbia or Harvard or Yale. They argued over grammar and syntax, the difference between a metaphor and a metonymy. Someone sparked a joint and everyone drank and simmered in their own self-congratulatory pseudo-intellectualism. For the first time in my life I felt intellectually inferior...
After that, we were off to a birthday party off the Smith Street F stop in Brooklyn. It was a party for Carla Blumenkranz, who wrote a story called "In Search of Gawker" for n+1 last winter. Emily Gould was there. Alec ditched me to continue sucking up to Leon, and Leon loved it because to him Alec is a protégé. They will feed off of each other and help each other succeed even though they don't actually care about one another. Eventually Keith Gessen showed up. He is short in person with messy hair. I hear him saying he will "try to take himself more seriously."
...It just was all so fucking fake. These people that I had admired my entire New York existence - they all disappointed me. I don't understand how people can exist in such a dishonest way and still call themselves writers. Isn't it the responsibility of a writer to be honest?
Young Jess has stumbled upon the first rule of PR: in order to become (semi-Internet) famous—throw a brick at some people (marginally) more famous than you! Anyway, we think the girl has potential. "I am getting out of New York for awhile," she writes, "...New York is not a place for serious people."
Does anybody have photos from the aforementioned parties? Please send; we will protect your identity.
Au Revoir, New York ‘Literary' Scene! [Daily Intel]