Tuesday, 10 November 2009

"You must begin by being or pretending to be an authority on some subject or other."




Some interesting and familiar notes on writing, editing and reviewing in this Guardian Review article on TS Eliot 
(picture above by EO Hoppe).


"You must begin by being or pretending to be an authority on some subject or other."

'I have written nothing whatsoever for three years and I do not see any immediate likelihood of my writing. The writing of poetry takes time and I never have any time."


...............................................



Apologising to one contributor for the fact that, a year after being accepted, his article had still not been published, Eliot tried to enlist his sympathies: "I can only say that there are others – in fact nearly all of my contributors at one time or another – whom I do not dare to meet in the street. Conducting a review after 8pm in the back room of a flat, I live qua editor, very much from hand to mouth, get myself into all sorts of hot water and predicaments, and offend everybody. At the end, the review is squeezed together somehow, and is never the number that I planned three months before." In this case, he promised the article would be published "early next year"; in the event, it never appeared.

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