paper trail

Axios to return its Paycheck Protection Program loan; Lisa Napoli on the birth of 24-hour news

Lisa Napoli

At The Ringer, an appreciation of the late True Grit author Charles Portis: “His novels are marvelous odysseys into the dark heart of WTF.”

After a public backlash, the media company Axios has decided to return its Paycheck Protection Program loan, a federal grant designed to help small businesses avoid layoffs. According to cofounder Jim VandeHei, Axios is close to completing a deal for an “alternative source of capital.” VandeHei explained: “The program has become divisive, turning into a public debate about the worthiness of specific industries or companies. . . . While applying for the loan felt like the right and prudent thing to do one month ago to protect our 190 employees, if we knew then what we know now, we would have gutted it out and hoped for the best.”

Katy Waldman on the comic novel, including advice about the funniest books to read in quarantine.

At Vanity Fair, an excerpt from Lisa Napoli’s Up All Night: Ted Turner, CNN, and the Birth of 24-Hour News.

At the New York Times, Parul Sehgal considers a new biography of Søren Kierkegaard. Sehgal notes the way the early-existentialist philosopher has been summoned as a thinker suited to the coronavirus crisis, and observes: “Kierkegaard commonly complained that he was misunderstood (he also complained that he was not misunderstood in the right ways).”

More than forty Portuguese writers are collaborating on a serial novel, with each author given twenty-four hours to respond to a chapter.