Michelle Dean responds to the internet backlash against the appointment of Isaac Fitzgerald as Buzzfeed’s book editor with the argument that Buzzfeed—and the acknowledgement of the internet’s role in literary culture—won’t kill book reviewing, though ”snobbery might.”
Haruki Murakami has already named a novel after the Beatles’ song “Norwegian Wood,” and now he’s raiding their oeuvre again for titles. His latest short story, “Drive My Car,” was published in the Japanese magazine Bungeishunju last week.
A New York Times account of the legal troubles surrounding Gore Vidal’s estate not only highlights the late writer’s family drama, but also hints that Vidal may have engaged in sex acts with underage boys. In 2011, when he was battling dementia, Vidal left his estate (estimated to be worth around $37 million) to Harvard University, angering several of his relatives who now seem to be willing to air Vidal’s dirty laundry. Speaking to the Times, nephew Burr Steers claimed the Vidal had promised him the estate, then noted that evidence may exist—with conservative columnist William F. Buckley, no less—of Vidal’s participation in what Burrs called “Jerry Sandusky acts.”
Amazon reviews, liveblogging books, and including GIFs in reviews—Salon’s Laura Miller surveys the brave new landscape of multimedia book reviewing, and makes a convincing case that “all of these innovations can be fascinating if you’re interested in how people talk about the experience of reading.”
To celebrate its 15th birthday, McSweeney’s has launched a crowdfunding campaign geared to raise… $15. The idea here isn’t to meet the goal (which has already happened) it’s to hold “the most successful campaign of its kind. Percentage-wise.” So far, it’s working splendidly: the publishing concern is beating expectations by 86,046 percent, with 223 backers and a month to go.
Disgraced journalist Stephen Glass’s magazine days are behind him, and it’s looking like he won’t have a career practicing law ahead of him, either—at least not in California. Glass moved to California several years ago after a failed attempt to get licensed as a lawyer in New York, and was rejected again by the California Bar Court on moral grounds. Last week, Glass challenged the rejection in a Sacramento court, and things did not go well. State supreme court justices seemed to side with the argument that Glass had failed to demonstrate “a pattern of exemplary behavior” since getting caught fabricating more than forty magazine articles, and wondered whether he had recently been forthcoming about the extent of his lies. One justice noted “that he did not fully disclose an entire list of his contrived works until he was asked to do so by California examiners.”