paper trail

Apr 5, 2010 @ 10:15:00 pm

William Bowers

Say it ain't so, Tommaso! The New Yorker's Judith Thurman has uncovered more fraud by Italian journalist Tommaso Debenedetti, who fabricated interviews with Philip Roth, Toni Morrison, E. L. Doctorow, and a growing list of top flight authors. Debenedetti isn't yet admitting any wrongdoing, saying he’s “shocked and saddened” that his subjects deny their Obama-bashing chats.

Jack Estes, who runs Pleasure Boat press, proclaims that publishing is alive and well. Just don't expect to sell more than four hundred copies, or make a profit: "If you are writing to be published, if that's your goal, you're probably writing for the wrong reason. If you're writing to get rich, you're really writing for the wrong reason."

The Rumpus has posted a moving meditation on William Bowers's criminally underrated essay, "All We Read Is Freaks." Bowers was once deemed Page Six material by the New York Post's Liz Smith, and scored a book deal, but since then, nothing. What happened?

Over at the Los Angeles Times, Carolyn Kellogg poses the somewhat tired, but still zeitgeisty query: "Are Twitter and Facebook good or bad for writers?" While some writers thrive online, others, like Malcolm Gladwell, avoid it. According to Jonathan Franzen, the web is writers’ Kryptonite: "It's doubtful that anyone with an Internet connection at his workplace is writing good fiction."