Atlantic contributing editor and Bookforum regular Graeme Wood is reporting from Cairo’s Tahir square, offering a riveting first-person account of the peaceful protest's violent turn earlier today. In our current issue, Wood reviews Mario Vargas Llosa’s latest historical novel, El Sueno del celta, about the conflicted life of liberator Roger Casement.
Apple announced that it has decided to change the rules for publishers. No surprise that this comes without an apology. Previously, the company allowed application developers to sell content over a web browser, not through the app itself. Now, Apple decides it wants a cut after all, and beginning later this year, it will traffic these sales itself—and charge a 30% toll. The Times quotes an electronics analyst who says, “Apple started making money with devices. Maybe the new thing that everyone recognizes is the unit of economic value is the platform, not the device.” But there are deeper implications for magazines and newspapers that go to the heart of the business model—retaining control over subscriptions and, crucially, subscriber data.
Colson Whitehead has announced that his new book, Zone One, will be published in October. It’s a disaster novel! Whitehead tweeted yesterday that it “concerns the rehabilitation of NYC after the apocalypse,” adding later, "if the book were a mash-up, it'd be Leonard Cohen's 'The Future' + Wire's 'Reuters' + Joy Division's 'Decades'." Whitehead is the author of, among other things, a nonfiction book about the city (Colossus of New York), a satire about branding (Apex Hides the Hurt), and the most hilarious Twitter feed we know of. Is it too much to hope that this postapocalyptic novel is a comedy?
Rupert Murdoch’s iPad newspaper, The Daily, launches at an event at the Guggenheim today at 11 am. Among the new e-paper's staff are journalists from the New Yorker, the New York Times, The Atlantic and other old-media stalwarts. As the Times reported last fall, The Daily will have about one hundred editors and writers, and a first-year budget of thirty million dollars.
Wayne Barrett—the dogged reporter and author of Rudy!: An Investigative Biography of Rudy Giuliani—was let go by the Village Voice in early January. Less than a month later, Tina Brown has asked him to join her Daily Beast/Newsweek venture.
Tonight at the New School, the French cultural institute Villa Gillet and n+1 magazine are hosting “Catastrophe Practice,” a panel discussion featuring philosopher Jean-Pierre Dupuy, University of Lyons president Michel Lussault, and artist Josh Neufeld. The discussion “begins with the premise that catastrophe is the norm or rule of modern life—the nightmare inversion to the Enlightenment account of human progress.”