Northern Valley Beacon

Information, observations, and analysis from the James River valley on the Northern Plains----- E-Mail: Enter 'Beacon' in subject box. Send to:

Thursday, May 19, 2005


Some standards for blogging

This post from Joel Achenbach in the Washington Post captures something of the way we think about blogging.

The only thing we will add to it is the observation that American classic writers F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Thomas Wolfe, among many writers of note, had one editor: Maxwell Perkins. He leaves old professors of American literature wondering who the real genius was.

Posted at 12:07 PM ET, 05/19/2005
Not Even Good Enough for the Blog
Still noodling yesterday's Arianna Huffington blog comment about how Norman Mailer et al can now post their thoughts "unfiltered, uncensored, unedited" -- a remarkable libel against the ancient craft of editing. All writers need editors. Even Moses had an editor, who cut the commandments from 12 to 10 (the editor argued that both "Thou Shalt Not Talk During Movies" and "Thou Shalt Not Double Dip the Chip" lacked the gravitas of the rest).

This will boggle the minds of readers of this blog, but I routinely write stuff that never gets published, EVEN HERE, because it's so lame. I know, it's hard to imagine there's any standard at all. My main job these days is to write a weekly column for the magazine, and when the column is weak, my editor, Sydney, will say, gently, "I think this is a blog item." The blog is the Realm of the Rejected. But there's stuff that's even too awful for the blog. I keep this material in my computer on the off chance that someday I'll figure out how to rescue it with a sudden humor injection.

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