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  • Good morning, Hank! Good morning, Hank. Good morning, Hank, good morning, Hank... I wonder

  • if I've ever said any three-word phrase more often in my life.

  • Anyway, it's Monday. I hope you enjoyed Venice, Florida as much as I enjoyed Venice, Italy;

  • I was there because the Indianapolis Museum of Art, where the Yeti is a curator, commissioned

  • the 2011 'American Pavillion of the Venice Biennale', which is a REALLY fancy deal.

  • For example, not to brag, I went to a party with Micheal Stipe, the lead singer of REM,

  • who wrote the song 'Stand' which you and I choreographed a dance to in 1989, which our

  • dad videotaped and then blessedly lost.

  • The artist the IMA commissioned is called Allora & Calzadilla, and the pavilion is a

  • total success - it involves overturned tanks and Olympic decathletes and gymnasts and an

  • actual ATM machine that is also an actual pipe organ! [pipe organ music plays]

  • Hank, this is the first time the commission for the Venice Biennale has gone to a museum

  • that isn't on either coast or the Art Institute of Chicago, and I'm really proud of everybody

  • at the Indianapolis Museum of Art for making it such a huge success. It makes me super

  • happy to be an Indianapolisian. Or Indianapolisicist. Or Indianapolicious. Indianapolicious.

  • Hey, where are you from? Oh me? I'm Indianapolicious.

  • In other news, Hank, this is my book! It arrived today from New York, where my editor and publisher

  • Julie Strauss-Gabel sent it to me, you know, with all of her comments on the pages and

  • everything.

  • I'm very excited, Hank, because even though Julie and I have been revising this book for

  • more than a year, we finally reached the point where she, like, writes on the manuscript,

  • and we can do the fun stuff like fighting about how to spell the word stormtrooper.

  • And she can write little notes making fun of me, like about how in my fictional universe

  • every day is Friday.

  • This is a big problem with my writing, Hank. I'll often write, like, "On Friday, Augustus

  • Waters called me. Three days later, on Friday, we went out to lunch," and Julie's just like

  • "Are you even trying? Are you even trying to figure out what day it should be?" and

  • I'm like "No! I'm not trying! That's your job."

  • But in fact, Hank, while that's the public's perception of what an editor does, the truth

  • is somewhat more complicated, as usual. The real heart of the editorial process happens

  • way before we ever start fighting about whether "stormtroopers" is one word or two, and whether

  • every day can be Friday; it starts when I send Julie a draft and then she sends me an

  • editorial letter.

  • And that editorial letter isn't about comma splices--it includes sentences like, "As we

  • crack open Augustus's philosophy and contrast it with Hazel's more connected sense of living,

  • I also think there's a lot of room to look more at the question of the nobility, and

  • frankly the epic sexiness, of sacrifice/violence versus the unsung struggle of illness; in

  • short: what constitutes martyrdom?"

  • As you can see, Hank, that's not about spelling. By the way, Julie, if you're watching this,

  • I am not changing my spelling of stormtroopers unless and until George Lucas himself calls

  • me and tells me that it's two words. That said, you're right about everything else,

  • and, no matter how happy it would make Rebecca Black, I agree with you that every day should

  • not be Friday.

  • So, Hank, I think the assumption that editors exist primarily to, like, fix grammar errors

  • is really incorrect. I mean, I could just read the universe through the Chicago Style

  • Manual; I don't need Julie for that. But! I also think it's incorrect when people think

  • that the main reason editors exist is to, like, censor your work, or to somehow make

  • it worse.

  • Without Julie, Paper Towns would be devoted largely not to Walt Whitman's poem Song of

  • Myself but to an incredibly boring history of the machinations of the United States Postal

  • Service. And without Julie, instead of Colin and Hassan hunting for feral hogs in rural

  • Tennessee, there would be this 75-page--and I'm not making this up--how-to guide about

  • how to take a roadkilled raccoon, skin it, and then tan its hide.

  • I don't know what I was thinking, Hank, but back in 2005 I was really interested in hide

  • tanning.

  • And without Julie and before her my amazing mentor and first editor Ilene Cooper, nothing

  • that anyone likes about Looking for Alaska would be in that book.

  • In short, Hank, while God knows I'd like to think that writers are more important than

  • editors, the truth is that we may not be. I mean, there is a reason that The Great Gatsby

  • and The Sun Also Rises were edited by the same guy.

  • Hank, I'm going to get to work. I'll see you on Friday. [laughs] I didn't--I didn't even

  • do that on purpose, I promise. Ohhhh, it's like I have calendrically specific dementia.

Good morning, Hank! Good morning, Hank. Good morning, Hank, good morning, Hank... I wonder

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B1 hank julie friday venice editorial good morning

Men Running on Tanks and the Truth about Book Editors

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    鄢代聞 posted on 2013/10/20
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