paper trail

The Baffler's new website...

The Baffler debuts a sleek new website this week, for the first time collecting its full digital archive from 1988 to the current issue, which includes: “25 issues, 432 contributors, 277 salvos, 450 graphics, 172 poems, 73 stories, 3,396 pages made of 1,342,785 words.” There’s something for every cheerful pessimist: Nicholson Baker’s “Dallas Killers Club,” say, or Eileen Myles’s story “Springs,” or the savage caricatures of Ralph Steadman.

The New Inquiry considers two books by civilians about veterans who commit suicide: David Finkel’s Thank You For Your Service andThank You For Your Service Jen Percy’s Demon Camp, “the most unusual and beautiful portrait of human trauma to come out of the last thirteen years.” Meehan Crist recently interviewed Jen Percy for Bookforum.

In Norway, “Knausgaard-free days had been instituted so that workers would be more productive.” Or so repeated The Guardian, The Economist, the New York Times, the New Yorker, and other credible, fact-checked literary sources. But it’s not true, or at least impossible to verify, according to Pacific Standard. And over at the New York Review of Books, Tim Parks wonders: “Wouldn’t it be enough to praise Knausgaard without trying to create the impression that there is a huge international following behind the book?”

After serving North Carolina as the state’s poet laureate for less than a week, Valerie Macon has stepped down. Her resignation followed intense scrutiny of Gov. Pat McCrory for personally appointing the state disability examiner and self-published poet, “rather than allowing a committee of writers appointed by the state’s arts council to make the selection” based on “literary merit.”

At the New Yorker, Maria Konnikova asks, why don’t we “read the same way online as we do on paper?” Maryanne Wolf decided to take up this question after receiving hundreds of letters from readers of her scientific history of the reading brain, Proust and the Squid, many concerned that “the more reading moved online, the less students seemed to understand.” Presently, Wolf has “ensconced herself in a small village in France with shaky mobile reception and shakier Internet” to finish her book. Here is Bookforum’s review of Wolf’s Proust and the Squid, as a primer.