Jane Eaton Hamilton

"I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashions.” – Lillian Hellman

Tag: Gordon Lish

A little light editing

Here, from the New Yorker, is Ray Carver’s original version of “Beginners,” the story that became, under Gordon Lish’s hand, the brilliant “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.”  This shows all the editorial interjections and deletions, and I would say represents pretty typical story editing, myself, but I know others, including Carver and his partner Tess Gallagher, considered it drastic.  (Long) after Ray’s death, Tess published the book “Beginners” (Vintage 2010) that restored not only this story but 16 others to their original condition.  Good on her; I’m very glad she did, and readers can decide for themselves.

What We Talk About

Oh, here’s a squib about a recent Newsweek interview with Gordon Lish:

Gordon Lish

The Consecution of Gordon Lish

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early sketch: Jane Eaton Hamilton

Here’s what I think, FB. You need no other short fiction or novel counsel other than that delivered in the collected wisdom of Douglas Glover and (sorry, Tess) the did-he-go-too-far Gordon Lish. As ably presented here by Jason Lucarelli.  Do I think Lish went too far, in particular with Carver’s work?  Yes, without question, as is easily apparent by comparing, as Tess Gallagher asks us, “A Small Good Thing” in its two forms.  But does that obviate the benefit of the work he did? Certainly it does not.

The Consecution of Gordon Lish

Here’s a new interview (Dec 2015)  from the Guardian by Christian Lorentzen with Lish:

Gordon Lish: ‘Had I not revised Carver, would he be paid the attention given him? Baloney!’

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