Dan Baum’s New Yorker Twitter-versy

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By Jason Boog

danbaum.jpgHundreds of Twitter users have been analyzing tweets from former New Yorker writer Dan Baum like ancient scroll fragments. Following numerous questions from readers about his time at the famous literary magazine, the author of “Nine Lives: Death and Life in New Orleans” decided to serialize his memories–in 140-character Twitter posts.

Twitter readers have pondered the essay all morning. John McQuaid wrote: “1st word of [Tom] Wolfe’s attack on the [New Yorker] was ‘Omerta!’–the Mafia code of silence that [Dan Baum] is now breaking.”

Sarah Weinman debated the merits of the Twitter essay with Leon Neyfakh: “Delivering serial narrative people want to read (with cliffhangers!) … no one’s done it before, and it gets people talking about Dan Baum, I guess.”

And finally, Richard Nash commented on the form itself: “I don’t think it’s optimized. This feels like a stunt, a good one, but just a stunt. A budding art that’ll get nipped…”