Friday, October 21, 2011

DFW will not stand for this Strunk & White bullsh*t

This tidbit of artistic frustration is selected from a fax to the editors at Harper's Magazine from David Foster Wallace (via the Huffington Post):
The deal is this. You’re welcome to this for READINGS if you wish. What I’d ask is that you (or Ms. Rosenbush, whom I respect but fear) not copyedit this like a freshman essay. Idiosyncracies of ital, punctuation, and syntax ("stuff," "lightbulb" as one word, "i.e."/"e.g." without commas after, the colon 4 words after ellipses at the end, etc.) need to be stetted. (A big reason for this is that I want to preserve an oralish, out-loud feel to the remarks so as to protect me from people’s ire at stuff that isn’t expanded on more; for you, the big reason is that I’m not especially psyched to have this run at all, much less to take a blue-skyed 75-degree afternoon futzing with it to bring it into line with your specs, and you should feel obliged and borderline guilty, and I will find a way to harm you or cause you suffering* if you fuck with the mechanics of this piece.)

* (It may take years for the oportunity to arise. I'm very patient. Think of me as a spider with a phenomenal emotional memory. Ask Charis.)
 We have all been there, amiright?

1 comment:

WilliamWarrenG said...

aha! Thank you for sharing this crisp gem!