Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Clockwise from upper left: [1] the June 2011 issue (eighty-first issue: lissome) of The Believer; [2] the June 2011 issue (13:2) of Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies; [3] the inaugural issue (Summer 2011) of Lucky Peach; and [4] the July/August 2011 issue of Poetry.


[1] The Believer

The Believer is something I look forward to each month. It's quirky. It contains new poems, interviews with figures of literary and artistic merit, long articles about books and culture, reviews of many things (including books), comics, oddities, and intriguing ephemera.

I never read it in order. I skip around. Eventually, I end up reading all of it, interspersed between readings of other journals, poems, and books.


[2] Leviathan

This issue of Leviathan has some great articles. My favorite is Zachary Hutchins on "Moby Dick as Third Testament." He examines the religious elements of Melville's magnum opus and posits that while Melville may have insisted that he wrote "a wicked book," there is enough evidence to show that he is in fact extending the imagery, ritual, and narrative themes of the Old and New Testament. I'm not enough of a Melville or biblical scholar to know if all of his hypothesis works, but it is nonetheless very interesting and compelling.


[3] Lucky Peach

Lucky Peach is the latest offering from McSweeney's. They teamed up with chef David Chang of Momofuku; Peter Meehan, former food reviewer for the New York Times; and the production team of Zero Point Zero Productions to produce both a magazine and an iPad app. The magazine is focused on food, but is more about the experience of eating and the philosophy of eating than it is about recipes, although those are also present. This inaugural issue is all about ramen. It's great to have a smart magazine about food that explores a style of food or concept with its readers. This is truly of celebration of food (and in this case, ramen).


[4] Poetry

The most recent issue of Poetry also has a gastronomical section. "He Digesteth Harde Yron" is the ruminations of six poets—Nikki Giovanni, Ange Mlinko, Michael Hofmann, A.E. Stallings, W.S. Di Piero, and Kristin Naca—on food memories or food desires. It is as interesting as last month's translation issue, which is my favorite issue each year.

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