Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Editing DFW

The New Yorker's Deborah Treisman on editing David Foster Wallace:

"David was wonderful to edit because he was so involved with the minutiae of his work—he had a long explanation for every decision that he'd made, and yet, at the same time, he was willing to rethink anything that didn't seem to be landing well for the reader. Editing him was sometimes a more painstaking process than editing most writers, but it was a genuine pleasure to engage with his intelligence and with his way of thinking about language, from how it supported narrative trajectory and character development all the way down to the punctuation. He was truly interested in the fine points of grammar, and every rule he broke he broke deliberately, with a specific artistic purpose in mind. Those long paragraphs—as off-putting as they can seem—were entirely purposeful."

More here.

The New Yorker also recently published another DFW story ("All That"), which is an excerpt from The Pale King. Which reminds me: I'm way, way behind on my reading.

2 comments:

Rohan said...

Andrew, I just sent you a message via Fictiomaut. aroe@cox.com bounced back?

Andrew Roe said...

Hi Ethel. Your email came through and I sent you a response. Let me know if you didn't get it.