Prufrock's Page

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Editors And Violin Makers

In an eloquent piece on the need for good editors in today's Internet age, Gary Kamiya says: "The art of editing is running against the cultural tide. We are in an age of volume; editing is about refinement. It's about getting deeper into a piece, its ideas, its structure, its language. It's a handmade art, a craft. You don't learn it overnight. Editing aims at making a piece more like a Stradivarius and less like a microchip. And as the media universe becomes larger and more filled with microchips, we need the violin makers." Going by some of the bloated pieces of contemporary fiction and non-fiction that one has encountered, one couldn't agree more.


  • There's a theory that novels have become fatter ever since the invention of things like the word processor. I can believe it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:08 AM  

  • The comparison with a Stradivarius may be a little less than fortunate considering that nobody has managed to replicate that level of excellence shown by the Cremonese master. I suspect editors realised this a while ago and decided to allow any old bloat. :)

    By Blogger Feanor, at 7:51 PM  

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