Jan 10, 2012

A Light Touch

Last week, I discussed the editing (or not) of Another Roadside Attraction.  I shared that with Tom, inviting him to chime in if he'd like. And chime he did. Quite passionately.  

 The Doubleday editor who handled Another Roadside Attraction was a young woman named Dorothy Pittman. Originally, a woman named Claudia something or other had been assigned to ARA, but she soon left to open a toy store in New Jersey with her husband.

In any case, only female hands touched my manuscript -- and they touched it lightly, indeed: so lightly, in fact, that it might be accurate to say that the book was virtually unedited. A few misspelled words, a couple of lapses in grammar, that was it. 

Any man who claims to have edited the book is a fraud and a liar, and I'd tell him so to his face.  
Tom Robbins
An apt beginning.

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Jan 1, 2012

Tales of the Wiley Peyote

In an interview back in the 70's, the editor of Tom Robbins' first novel, Another Roadside Attraction, seemed to claim that he had convinced the young author to remove scads of wordplay and gobs of writing pyrotechnics that didn't "work" in the novel. The thought was intriguing and disturbing.

Later Tom informed me that wasn't true. Nothing was removed and the novel retained his vision of it.

I felt ambivalent about it. First, it was good that he hadn't been forced to change his work. On the other hand, the idea of a lost stash of Robbins wordplay was an enticing thought. 

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