Re: a joint effort

From: Jim Rovira <>
Date: Fri Jan 31 2003 - 08:28:50 EST

I think it depends on the publisher and editor, and I think what you're
describing is the current trend in publishing over here -- I've been asked
to edit books for authors that DESPERATELY needed editing (one guy was
writing a memoir -- his native language is Chezch, I think) but wasn't
being edited by the publisher. It's amazing to me that someone would think
of releasing a product unedited, even when it badly needs it.

I know Pound pretty heavily edited "The Waste Land" and generally edited
everyone he worked with -- Joyce was a bit more touchy about Pound's
critiques than most other people he worked with. Yeats was supposedly
ignorant of the proper use of punctuation and needed a great deal of
editing. I don't have detailed enough knowledge of more contemporary
authors to speak to that, but I have spoken to a former editor for novelist
Jonathan Carroll, and comparing the three books or so she edited to later
books I see a significant difference in style. I suspect he's not being
very heavily edited now.


PS If you really expect a Bowman listserve to rise to existence one day,
why don't you publish another freaking book? You still have the touch.
When you narrate, images rise from the page as if they were being projected
by a hologram.

Scottie Bowman wrote:

> Kim's post about Shawn & Maxwell brings up the matter
> of the editor's contribution. I wonder is this a distinctively
> American phenomenon? One thinks immediately of Maxwell
> Perkins's work with Wolfe (& even, in a less directive way,
> with Hem & Scott Fitzgerald.)
> But I can't recall any comparably influential figures in British
> publishing - which doesn't mean there aren't any. In my own
> limited experience, all my publishers ever seemed to do was
> arrange some posh lunches & parties, correct a 'Ming horse'
> to a 'Tang' & - to my subsequent fury - persuade me to drop
> a definite article from the title of my first book. I can't think
> of any occasion when they wanted to fiddle with my sacred texts.
> I often wished - ungratefully & quite unjustifiably - they'd been
> a little more gung-ho in peddling me to the media but we were
> all much more gentlemanly in those days.
> Maybe if they'd been a little less reticent with their suggestions,
> this listserv would bear another name?
> (It will one day, of course.)
> Scottie B.

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Received on Fri Jan 31 08:28:41 2003

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