Study Guide

Spyglass Magazine Staff in Cloud Atlas

By David Mitchell

Spyglass Magazine Staff

All the News That Isn't Fit to Print

The Spyglass magazine staff provides a little journalistic humor to Luisa's story. From Roland Jakes's Terror in Sewerland story about piranhas living under the city, to blowhard Jerry Nussbaum's constant racist, chauvinistic hot air, we see that the magazine Luisa works for is more National Enquirer than New Yorker.

The staff may be a motley crew, but they're a lot like family to Luisa, albeit a dysfunctional family. They help her out when she gets fired, even carrying her boxes to her car. It almost makes up for everything they make her put up with during staff meetings. Almost.

The only character on staff with any depth is editor-in-chief Dom Grelsch. When Luisa overhears his phone conversations, we get a glimpse into his personal life. His wife is sick, and he'll do anything—including agreeing to sell Spyglass to a company owned by Seaboard, which ends up getting Luisa fired—to get enough money to pay her medical bills. He confesses to Luisa, "I'm not proud of myself, but I won't be ashamed for putting my family ahead of the truth" (9.57.16).

Grelsch embodies the moral dilemma of the Luisa Rey section right there—what will people do (or not do) for the truth?