Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
Just to double down on my post yesterday about editing, here’s a moldy oldie from 2013, looking at what Raymond Carver’s editor did for him. This is the big leagues!
[Rats, now I see that the link has expired. I’ll see if I can find a replacement, ‘cuz it’s good stuff.]
[OK, here’s the article, but apparently the New Yorker has removed a link to images of Gordon Lish’s edits of a Carver manuscript. Copyright issues, no doubt. Read the article, though, to get an idea how these two giants worked together.]
A quickie ‘cuz I’m swamped today, but this is fascinating: Gordon Lish’s edits on Raymond Carver’s “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.”
If you have time to go through some of it, you can see (and appreciate) the effect a sharp-eyed editor can have on a text. Some of it is subtle, some is heavier, and some is just different from Carver’s draft, but usually better. Of course, Lish is a fiction writer as well as a great editor, so perhaps he was putting his mark on Carver’s material in a way. Beside the point. He helped make this a classic of the genre.
(The photo is of a J.G. Ballard manuscript page in the British Library.)