A Quote on Editing from Robert Silvers

The fundamental point is that if a writer has something interesting to say, you have to ask, sentence by sentence, if it is clear as it should be or could it be clearer, while also respecting the writer’s voice and tone. You have to listen carefully to the tone of the writer’s prose and try to adapt to it, but only up to a point.

Robert Silvers is describing the essential task of an editor. He should know what he’s taking about since he is the founding editor of the New York Review of Books, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year—and he stills edits the magazine. The quote comes from a long interview with Silvers in the April 15 issue of New York magazine.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s