paper trail

Alan Moore's million-word novel; Gawker's memo about Tweets

Alan Moore

Mark Sarvas’s Elegant Variation, started in 2003, was one of the original and most popular book blogs. After his novel Harry, Revised was published in 2008, Sarvas stepped away from the blog, but according to a new post, TEV is back, in a slightly different format. “I've been attracted to and inspired by the intimacy and samizdat feel of the newsletter form, and thought I'd try a little experiment,” Sarvas writes. “I'm leaving the form open to revision (and feedback—please), but I envision an email digest (perhaps weekly, perhaps bi-weekly) for my friends, former students and perhaps interested strangers, of literary matters that interest or excite me.” You can sign up for it here.


Poets and Writers profiles Graywolf Press executive editor Jeff Shotts: “Our nonprofit, independent structure creates a culture. We’re absolutely a mission-driven organization. That allows us to make editorial decisions that are often deemed risky, because we have a safety net of support underneath those decisions in a way that other presses don’t.”

Conde Nast has reportedly laid off 50 staffers. According to Media Bistro, a meeting between publishers and company president Bob Sauerberg is scheduled for Tuesday, and if budgets aren’t being met, “more cuts are likely on their way.”

After Tweets by Gawker writer Sam Biddle hurt the feelings of some readers last week, resulting in an apology, Gawker Media Editorial Director Joel Johnson sent out a memo on Friday, stating: “I don’t want to tell you what to tweet. But I do want you to think about how your tweets can be perceived without context. I’m as guilty as anyone about using Twitter as a place for absurdity and trolling among friends, but the last couple of days have made it clear how people are willing to conflate personal tweets as official company statements.” Deadspin editor Tommy Craggs declared the memo “shitty”: “I understand that a certain amount of realpolitik is necessary for maintaining cordial relationships with our advertisers, and that it’s easy for me to be righteous when for the most part I’m cosseted from any hard considerations, but the memo and the apology—over what amounted to a few half-assed jokes of the kind my site specializes in—seemed to cross some sort of editorial Rubicon.”