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 :: Famous Quotations Topic: Editing and Editors (23 Quotations)

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A writer is unfair to himself when he is unable to be hard on himself.
~ Marianne Moore

 

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An editor is someone who separates the wheat from the chaff and then prints the chaff.
~ Adlai E. Stevenson

 

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An editor should tell the author his writing is better than it is. Not a lot better, a little better.
~ T. S. Eliot

 

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Art, it seems to me, should simplify finding what conventions of form and what detail one can do without and yet preserve the spirit of the whole -- so that all that one has suppressed and cut away is there to the reader's consciousness as much as if it were in type on the page.
~ Willa Cather

 

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Editing is the same as quarreling with writers -- same thing exactly.
~ Harold Wallace Ross

 

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Editing should be, especially in the case of old writers, a counseling rather than a collaborating task. The tendency of the writer-editor to collaborate is natural, but he should say to himself, ''How can I help this writer to say it better in his own style?'' and avoid ''How can I show him how I would write it, if it were my piece?''
~ James Thurber

 

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I suppose some editors are failed writers; but so are most writers.
~ T. S. Eliot

 

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I trust it will not be giving away professional secrets to say that many readers would be surprised, perhaps shocked, at the questions which some newspaper editors will put to a defenseless woman under the guise of flattery.
~ Kate Chopin

 

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If they have a popular thought they have to go into a darkened room and lie down until it passes.
~ Kelvin Mackenzie

 

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In art economy is always beauty.
~ Henry James

 

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Read your own compositions, and when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.
~ Samuel Johnson

 

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Remember the waterfront shack with the sign FRESH FISH SOLD HERE. Of course it's fresh, we're on the ocean. Of course it's for sale, we're not giving it away. Of course it's here, otherwise the sign would be someplace else. The final sign: FISH.
~ Peggy Noonan

 

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Rides in the whirlwind and directs the storm.
~ Joseph Addison

 

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The waste basket is a writer's best friend.
~ Isaac Bashevis Singer

 

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The work was like peeling an onion. The outer skin came off with difficulty... but in no time you'd be down to its innards, tears streaming from your eyes as more and more beautiful reductions became possible.
~ Edward Blishen

 

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There is a difference between a book of two hundred pages from the very beginning, and a book of two hundred pages which is the result of an original eight hundred pages. The six hundred are there. Only you don't see them.
~ Elie Wiesel

 

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There is but one art, to omit.
~ Robert Louis Stevenson

 

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What I have crossed out I didn't like. What I haven't crossed out I'm dissatisfied with.
~ Cecil B. De Mille

 

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When in doubt, delete it.
~ Philip Cosby

 

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Whether the flower looks better in the nosegay than in the meadow where it grew and we had to wet our feet to get it! Is the scholastic air any advantage?
~ Henry David Thoreau

 

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