Writing in the time of great editors
mysanantonio.com – Tuesday April 4, 2017
Editors are the invisible hands that guide publishers and help writers strengthen their craft to achieve greatness. When thinking of greatness, I am reminded of Malvolio’s soliloquy in Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” when he says: “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon ’em.”
Scrivener & Sons’ editor Maxwell Perkins was one of those born great. He edited Ernest Hemingway’s liberal use of salty language and fear of semicolons, resolved F. Scott Fitzgerald’s hesitation for book titles (Perkins replaced “Trimalchio in West Egg” with “The Great Gatsby”) and hacked off Thomas Wolfe’s purple prose and redundancy.
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