From an editor’s point of view, I’ll repeat my lack of passion for spontaneity. Why should I make much of what someone else has made so little? Why should I read and reread work that may have been reread by the writer less often than it will be by me? I’ll acknowledge a kind of perverse joke in all that, an “upsodounness” of expectation, as Chaucer could have said. And perversion is a mainstay of our pleasures, in the arts as elsewhere. It works though only when it wins us over. I am in no position to be sure of how that happens, since a writer has no reason to confess. I do suppose that it is infrequent. Or perhaps I only hope as much.

~ David Hamilton, “Loose Bottoms: On Becoming Ready to Send Your Work Out” in The Practical Writer: From Inspiration to Publication (Penguin Books, 2004)


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