Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Today's realization: I will never be Max Perkins

I'm currently reading the bookMax Perkins: Editor of Genius by A. Scott Berg, about the guy who edited Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Wolfe, and a bunch of others. This morning on the way to work, I was reading about when Max received the long-awaited manuscript for The Great Gatsby. Berg writes, "Perkins tore into the novel and read it in one sitting. Immediatley he cabled, THINK NOVEL IS SPLENDID. He meant much more than that and wrote Fitzgerald the next day." It then goes on to detail what changes Perkins suggested, and how Fitzgerald took them all, making Gatsby the wonderfully good book it was.

Today I'm editing my long-awaited manuscript for my reflexology book. And although I love the authors of it, they've never taken me on drunken Prohibition-era binges that end in plunging their car into a lilly pond. I spent about a half an hour editing their text as follows.

Cold sores or canker sores
Whether it’s a cold sore (a blister caused by the herpes virus) or a canker sore (an ulceration of the mouth or lips), reflexology can help get rid of these nuisances more quickly. Work the face reflex area by using the single-finger grip technique on the side of your fingers and toes.

Constipation is a difficulty with bowel movements or unusually dry stool. It is most common in children and seniors, and is often caused by stress, not enough fiber or water intake, disruption of your regular diet, or pregnancy. If you’re suffering from constipation, work the digestive system reflex area by using the reflex ball on the heel of your hand and the foot roller on the heel of your foot.

God I'm disillusioned. I've just gotten to the part where Berg mentions Perkins' "Yankee editor's romance" and I'm afraid to go on.

No comments: