A Good Redactor is Hard to Find
A few weeks back I read an article about Raymond Carver in the New Yorker, and it is still on my mind. Basically the gist of the article is that Carver's works were heavily edited by Gordon Lish, and it was Lish who transformed Carver into the somewhat acclaimed writer that he became. Which Carver came to resent (who wouldn't?). And which Carver came to regret, because Lish was ultimately right.
But you don't really get a sense of how transformative the editing was. The ability to add to the story by taking away tons and tons of words, pages, is truly a miraculous talent, like a sculptor seeing a statue in a block of marble...
Here is the story, original and the edits.