Elizabeth Schambelan

All articles by this author

Smoke Week

Smoke Week

Suddenly the outdoors looked like indoors, and felt like the indoors

On the weather map on my phone, as I stood and consulted it at 81st and Central Park West, the color-coded diagram of the plumes scorching and stretching south from Ottawa looked exactly like a circa-2004 televised aerial heat map visualization of some especially deadly nighttime moment in a town somewhere in Basra. The colors populating my Instagram feed when I swiped over from the weather map—filtered, balanced, enhanced—were similarly vivid and lively, the colors of harvests and autumn leaves. In real life at midday, the chromatic effects on Central Park West were more like sepia, paprika, piss.

Remarks by Elizabeth Schambelan

On accepting the 2019 n+1 Writer’s Fellowship

All authoritarian regimes try to suppress thought, and n+1’s publishing genealogy places it within an anti-authoritarian tradition. This genealogy includes magazines that are for the general reader, but that dare to posit a general reader who wants to be challenged, who has political commitments but is not looking for ideological marching orders, who is seeking new forms and new ideas, who wants to see received wisdom skeptically scrutinized, not soothingly affirmed—and anyone who regularly reads n+1’s “Intellectual Situation” essays can attest that there is very little soothing affirmation to be found there. If, as Benedict Anderson suggested, newspapers can create nations, then certainly magazines can shape a public sphere. It is so, so important to support magazines and media that help sustain the kind of public sphere in which in which totalitarian assaults on language, fact, and thought can be resisted.

Everybody Knows

Everybody Knows

“He’s the nicest person!!!”

If you went to an American high school with an average parental tax bracket in the “comfortable” range, there’s a good chance you know Bryant Grober. Bry: cute and popular, on the teams it was cool to be on, kind of a dick around his friends but perfectly cordial when you were lab partners. Somewhere in your yearbook, there’s a picture of him. It’s a close-up reproduced large, because the yearbook editors wanted everyone to appreciate Bry’s amazing eyes. Chris, with his equally amazing but soul-freezing eyes, might seem a more unheimlich figure. Both boys were rapists, not just the one who had the brio to announce it so insouciantly.