10.14.2004

Anne Rice Prophesy Fulfilled

According to an NY TIMES article, I correctly predicted that the Anne Rice controversy would sell more books:

Sessalee Hensley, the fiction buyer at Barnes & Noble... said [that] "Blood Canticle" had sold 20 percent more copies than Ms. Rice's previous vampire book, "Blackwood Farm."

Anne Rice, however, goes on to elaborate her misunderstanding of what a good editor does:

"When you take home a CD of Pavarotti or Marilyn Horne, you don't want to hear another voice blended in. I feel the same way about Hemingway. If I read it, I don't want to read a new edited version."

Ah, but if the conductor notes that Pavarotti has sung the wrong note or key in rehearsal, should the conductor not inform Pavarotti of the mistake?

Hemingway is also a poor choice since he was rather ruthless about editing.

A good editor informs writers of troublesome errors, worthless tangents, unnecessary repetitions--small and large--and so forth. The voice is not to be tampered with--unless it's off-key or otherwise problematic and inconsistent.

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