paper trail

Gothamist editors reflect on site's closure; Daniel Mendelsohn on why Greek epics endure

Daniel Mendelsohn

The New York Times talks to Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner about his debut novel, Heather, the Totality. Weiner said that although he’d always wanted to write fiction, he wasn’t sure he would ever have the opportunity to do so, and has been shocked by his book’s warm reception in the literary world. “It’s like someone who goes to the casino for the first time and wins,” he said.

Rose McGowan’s upcoming memoir will be released in January, one month earlier than planned. Brave will be published in January by Harper One.

The Millions talks to An Odyssey author Daniel Mendelsohn about memoirs, family, and why Greek epics are still relevant today. In Mendelsohn’s opinion, “Greek texts have a kind of hardness and durability” because they avoid the pitfalls of sentimentality. “Modern superheroes are all essentially optimistic visions of transformation,” he says. “You need to only read two pages of Ovid’s Metamorphosis to understand that the ancient transformations are very problematic. The essential vision of life is pessimistic and these transformations are punishments.”

Margaret Sullivan writes that while journalists are working harder than ever on deeply reported, investigative pieces about the conflicts of interest in the Trump administration, they are struggling to find a way to break through a chaotic news cycle that many readers are tuning out. “The scoops have been relentless, the digging intense, the results important,” Sullivan writes, but “too often, it has succumbed to the chaos of covering Trump, who lies and blusters and distracts at every turn.”

The Observer reports from a rally held yesterday in support of the DNAinfo and Gothamist writers who lost their jobs last week after owner Joe Ricketts shut down the sites in response to a union vote. Former Gothamist editor David Colon takes a closer look Ricketts’s decision to replace each website’s work with his letter announcing the site’s closure. By doing so, “Ricketts did more than just erase a literal database of New York City history,” Colon writes. “He also directly attacked the reporters who he fired without a second thought. It’s the kind of retaliatory move made by a man who thinks he’s above consequences—a spiteful kiss-off to people whose only crime was sticking up for themselves.” Ex-LAist editor in chief Julia Wick remembers the site’s dedication to local reporting and warns that Gothamist and DNAinfo likely won’t be the last sites to be shut down over unionizing. “There are more important stories to tell than ever, and a growing contingent of moneyed powerbrokers now have the ultimate say over the content—and life—of our newsrooms,” she writes. “If you aren’t scared yet, you should be.”