Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Peter de Vries

Revision is mostly compression -- frying the fat out of it, I call it.  When I see a paragraph shrinking under my eyes like a strip of bacon in a skillet, I know I'm on the right track.
(Peter de Vries died on this date in 1993.  He was on the staff of the New Yorker for over 40 years and wrote short stories, poetry, essays, a play, and 23 novels -- all of which were out of print by the time of his death.  There's a copy of his first novel -- But Who Wakes the Bugler? -- at my in-laws' Cape Cod house.  I see it every summer, but have never been tempted to read it.  I do admire the title greatly, however.  This quote is from a 1968 article he wrote for Life magazine.)

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