The Believer May 2010 The Death of a Civil Servant LEV GROSSMAN Two of the twentieth century's dominant literary traditions-modernism and fantasy-met as mismatched roommates in colonial Ceylon. Real Life Rock Top Ten GREIL MARCUS Musin's and Thinkin's: a monthly column JACK PENDARVIS Ninjas I Have Known STEPHEN PHELAN It's impossible to say with certainty that you're not being stalked by a ninja right now. Also: that ninja may be Scottish. The Believer Book Award and Reader Survey THE EDITORS Creative Accounting: Deitch Projects M. REBEKAH OTTO "Comics" Edited by ALVIN BUENAVENTURA A Sunburst Above a Receding Road NAMWALI SERPELL What happens when, pronouncing the names of Nabokov's characters, they leave the page and end up in your mouth? A Glimpse of Unplumbed Depths ANNIE JULIA WYMAN What is the goal of Erich Auerbach's monumental, doomed scholarship? Simply put, to better understand what it means to be alive. Stuff I've Been Reading NICK HORNBY Maureen Howard In conversation with JOANNA SCOTT "The author may be absent from the work, but she's left her dirty fingerprints all over the pages." Schema: Impossible Colors JUDE STEWART One-Page Book Reviews Daniel Handler on James Schuyler, Stephen Burt on David Baker, Ken Tucker on Nin Andrews, Jessica Loudis on Macedonio Fernández, and M. Lynx Qualey on Sonallah Ibrahim, Rick Moody on Charlie Smith. Daniel Clowes Interviewed by NICOLE RUDICK The cartoonist-genius responsible for Ghost World describes his start at Cracked magazine and his Peanuts-like new book. The Deer Path: a new poem KATHLEEN OSSIP Lawrence Schiller Interviewed by SUZANNE SNIDER First Schiller bought Gary Gilmore's life rights and conducted hundreds of hours of interviews. Then he hired Norman Mailer. Sedaratives TODD HANSON Bryan Garner Micro-interviewed by JOSH FISCHEL Is the Constitution a well-written document?