Editing should be, especially in the case of old writers, a counseling rather than a collaborating task. The tendency of the writer-editor to collaborate is natural, but he should say to himself, “How can I help this writer to say it better in his own style?” and avoid “How can I show him how I would write it, if it were my piece?”

James Thurber (1894-1961) American cartoonist and writer
Memo to The New Yorker (1959)

Reprinted in New York Times Book Review (4 Dec 1988)
Added on 27-Jan-11 | Last updated 27-Jan-11
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