Thursday, January 12, 2006

Revising Reviews

Barry Callaghan on revising reviews:

I have always said -- especially to my students, since I was always five minutes late -- that punctuality is the virtue of the bored, yet, as a journalist I have always liked writing to deadlines -- like the hangman’s noose, a deadline concentrates the mind. But once the deadline has been met I’ve been only too willing to re-work lines, sharpen phrases -- never changing the spirit or the point of the piece -- but honing it. Honing it in the same way I would hone a story or a poem, because I’ve always thought a review -- if written in a certain way -- could be not only a story about another story but possibly a deft parable of its time.

(Barry Callaghan, Raise You Five: Essays and Encounters 1964-2004, Volume One (McArthur & Company, 2005) at xiv.)

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