In wartime Britain, an oil-rationing poster asked: IS YOUR JOURNEY REALLY NECESSARY? Of the four young men who founded the magazine n+1, I have to ask: is your journal really necessary? It may be in the public interest to save ink for a worthier cause.

Well, “journal” may not be quite the right word. N+1, which debuted in Fall 2004 and is published twice a year, does look like a journal. It’s very close to the trim size of the magazine you’re holding now; like The New Criterion, it’s text-heavy, though it includes with every piece a black and white illustration. The three issues published thus far each run to nearly 200 pages.

But none of this makes n+1 a journal. Cahiers du jour might be the appropriate term for what is, as of this writing, the latest overhyped, must-have accessory of the self-styled “smart set.&rdqu ...