July 17, 2014

At the Believer, Sheila Heti interviews Christian Lorentzen, an editor at the LRB and a regular Bookforum contributor, about his Twitter oeuvre, including the “fake livetweeting” that is one of his specialties. Lorentzen’s Twitter persona is “deliberately unstable”: “It was natural from the start to throw my voice around, to be ‘me’ or ‘not me’ in tweets.” Reading Twitter, he says, is like “watching a stream of garbage flow in order to see what colour the trash is today.” His most recent piece for Bookforum was a review of Emily Gould’s novel, Friendship.

Rupert Murdoch’s Twitter oeuvre has lately hardly been flowing at all. In February he reached a peak of seven tweets a day, according to a graph by Jim Romenesko; in July it’s been close to zero. Maybe he’s depressed because Time Warner Inc. rejected his offer to buy the company for $80 billion. Or maybe he’s busy figuring out a new offer; the Times Dealbook says that he is “determined to buy Time Warner and is unlikely to walk away.” If he succeeds, he’ll own an unbelievable number of media companies.  Here’s a history of past Murdoch deals, including his 2007 purchase of Dow Jones & Company, the publisher of the Wall Street Journal.

Amazon’s “Kindle Unlimited” service, now in tests, will offer e-books by subscription. Unlike Oyster and Scribd, which already offer e-book subscriptions, the Amazon version has audiobooks.

In other e-book news, Apple has agreed to pay a $450 million settlement in response to accusations (which it denies) that it conspired to fix prices.

Google is reversing its policy of requiring Google+ users to go by their real names, which means that Youtube commenters can once again (after an eight-month break) do their hating anonymously.

Lena Dunham’s eleven-stop book tour is sold out just a day after she announced her itinerary on Twitter. She’ll be appearing in Boston with Mary Karr, in Iowa City with Curtis Sittenfeld, and in Portland with Carrie Brownstein. For the October 21 tour finale, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, she’ll be joined by Zadie Smith, Jemima Kirke, and the Bleachers (Dunham’s boyfriend’s band). The second block of tickets to the “sold-out” Brooklyn show is getting released today.

Advertisement