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The Art of Editing


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Table of Contents

Preface: The Art of Editing Acknowledgments 1. "Stuff that editors do" 2. "My only fear is that it is too thin": The Roots of the Carver Controversy 3. Minimalism in Action: Making What We Talk About When We Talk About Love 4. "It is His World and No Other": Gordon Lish, Authorship, and Minimalism 5. "Your Devoted Editee": David Foster Wallace and Michael Pietsch 6. Consider the Editor: Assembling The Pale King 7. "Magical Compression": Wallace's return to Minimalism 8. The Anxiety of Editorial Influence Bibliography Index

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A study of the role of the editor in 20th- and 21st-century American fiction, focusing on the development of key works of fiction by Raymond Carver and David Foster Wallace.

About the Author

Tim Groenland is Lecturer/Assistant Professor in American Literature at the School of English, Drama, and Film, University College Dublin, Ireland.


A refreshing and overdue exercise in cultural iconoclasm ... [A] compelling study. * ASAP Journal *
In this groundbreaking book, Tim Groenland shines a light on that most elusive figure, the literary editor. Digging deep into the work of two high-profile editors - Gordon Lish and Michael Pietsch - as they collaborated with two major writers - Raymond Carver and David Foster Wallace - The Art of Editing combines in-depth archival research with perceptive close readings. The book not only offers a revelatory account of the editor's art; it also tells a fresh story about the minimalist and maximalist styles of contemporary American fiction. We may live in an age of celebrity authors, but The Art of Editing shows us conclusively that, as Groenland memorably puts it, 'even extraordinary minds never work alone'. * Adam Kelly, Senior Lecturer in American Literature, University of York, UK, and author of American Fiction in Transition: Observer-Hero Narrative, the 1990s, and Postmodernism (Bloomsbury, 2013) *
Under precepts of genetic criticism and a conception of the social dimension of the production of literature, Tim Groenland reads closely in contrast the authorial-only versus the authorial-and-editorial prose of Raymond Carver with Gordon Lish and David Foster Wallace with Michael Pietsch. His study is a searching investigation of the convergence and overlap of authorial and editorial creativity in literary writing and commercial publishing. * Hans Walter Gabler, Professor Emeritus of English and Editorial Scholarship, Ludwig Maximilians Universitat Munich, Germany *
The Art of Editing is an outstanding account of the role of the modern editor from the beginning of the twentieth century onwards, as well as a major contribution to scholarship on the work of Raymond Carver and David Foster Wallace. Groenland offers an innovative approach to identifying the paradoxes of the fiction editor that will be an indispensable book for scholars interested in both the publishing history of modern fiction and in theoretical questions of authorship and literary production. * Alice Bennett, Senior Lecturer of English, Liverpool Hope University, UK, and author of Contemporary Fictions of Attention (Bloomsbury, 2018) *

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