Stalin's Blue Pencil
Djugashvili (later Stalin) was a ruthless person, and a serious editor. The Soviet historian Mikhail Gefter has written about coming across a manuscript on the German statesman Otto von Bismarck edited by Stalin's own hand. The marked-up copy dated from 1940, when the Soviet Union was allied with Nazi Germany. Knowing that Stalin had been responsible for so much death and suffering, Gefter searched "for traces of those horrible things in the book." He found none. What he saw instead was "reasonable editing, pointing to quite a good taste and an understanding of history." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Oct 15, 2013 -
New technology has changed scholarship. Whereas previous generations of experts have sought to reconcile the differences between quarto and Folio, current thinking highlights the difficult relationship between the various incarnations of Shakespeare's texts, something made easier by the availability of rare Shakespeare quartos in digital databases such as Early English Books Online. The scholar Eleanor Prosser thus detects "considerable evidence" for the elimination of metrical and stylistic "irregularities" in the Folio: short lines are lengthened to 10 syllables, verbs agreed with subjects, double negatives resolved. In addition, a range of unusual words are added to the text, words not used elsewhere by Shakespeare. Prosser concludes: "somewhere behind the Folio … lies a conscientious and exacting editor with literary pretensions", albeit one "more experienced in the transcription of literary than of theatrical works". But who was it?
—Who edited Shakespeare?
by Saul Frampton. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus
on Jul 13, 2013 -
When publishing goes wrong.
Mandy DeGeit was a first time author submitting to a horror anthology by Undead Press
. The contract included a line that they had the right to edit the story -- standard operating procedure. But when she got a copy of the book, they'd drastically changed the story: "They turned a non-gendered character into a boy, they named the best friend, they created a memory for the main character about animal abuse. They added a suggestion of rape at the end…" [more inside]
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me
on Sep 3, 2012 -
Final Cut Pro backlash.
Two months ago, Apple previewed
the new 64-bit version of its popular professional video editing application, completely re-written and re-designed with loads of new, revolutionary features, an iMovie-like interface, and a deep price cut. Excitement
abounded. On Tuesday, it was released
, and the excitement has been completely reversed
. Unfortunately, as Apple typically
does with all-new products
, they left out a lot of features that users particularly needed (including backwards compatibility), and simultaneously killed
the previous version, causing an unprecedented amount of confusion
in a matter of hours
. Many people felt left in the lurch, others felt that Apple had abandoned the pro market without telling anyone, and still others prescribed patience
posted by fungible
on Jun 23, 2011 -
As time has gone by, though, Touch of Evil has acquired a large cult following, and it now regularly appears on lists of the best films of the century. What is not generally known is that the film never accurately reflected Welles's intentions for it. In July 1957, the studio took over the editing of the film and prevented him from participating in its completion. In an odd turn of events, however, a 58-page memo that Welles wrote in 1957 was recently rediscovered, and a small team on which I was film editor and sound mixer has used that remarkable document to bring
Touch of Evil as close as possible to Welles's original concept.
- Walter Murch, 1998
posted by Trurl
on Jun 14, 2011 -
Software, and Instant Real-Time 1-Click Commissar Removal:
In the old days
, photographic purges were laborious and time-consuming. Modern software has of course made this process much faster, and now this important task can be applied to video, and in real-time
. Of course, if you don't want to actually remove someone or something, but instead simply want to turn ordinary men into Heroes of the Revolution and vixens into forgettable faces in the crowd, well, that too is an option
posted by darth_tedious
on Oct 12, 2010 -
For millions of addicts around the world, Alcoholics Anonymous's basic text - informally known as the Big Book - is the Bible. And as they're about to find out, the Bible was edited. After being hidden away for nearly 70 years and then auctioned twice, the original manuscript by AA co-founder Bill Wilson is about to become public for the first time next week, complete with edits by Wilson-picked commenters that reveal a profound debate in 1939 about how overtly to talk about God.
posted by Joe Beese
on Sep 22, 2010 -
Ursula Nordstrom—the "Maxwell Perkins
of the Tot Department"—was, from 1940 to 1973, head of the Department of Books for Boys and Girls at the New York publisher Harper & Row, and until 1979 had her own imprint there, Ursula Nordstrom Books. A legendary editor
known to her authors as UN, she published the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Margaret Wise Brown, Shel Silverstein, Maurice Sendak (whom she is credited with discovering) and, to not a little controversy, E. B. White
). One of "the last generation of devoted letter writers," she wrote nearly 100,000
during her five decade career at Harper, of which 300 of the most amusing, acerbic, and illuminating are collected in Dear Genius
by Leonard S. Marcus, the first hundred pages of which can be read at the Harper website
. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco
on Jan 6, 2010 -
, a blog by video/film editor Oliver Peters
, serves primarily as a repository for his product reviews pertaining to nonlinear editing systems - including, but not limited to, Avid Media Composer and Apple Final Cut Pro... [more inside]
posted by Neilopolis
on Dec 2, 2009 -
The research, literary, and copy editors of Vanity Fair go to town
on Sarah Palin's resignation speech.
seeing as nearly everyone I talked to at the 10th meetup was an editor of some kind, you'll all get a kick out of this
posted by Jon_Evil
on Jul 20, 2009 -
Paul Graham recently wrote an essay. And saved all his edits, so you can replay it in entirety just as he wrote it
.* It's quite fascinating to see if you ever wondered how he (or other writers) went about their job. And here's the Hacker News thread
he initiated. This can be a very useful tool to watch and understand your own writing process, or understand and help your students write. Like cvs/svn mirror for long form writing. [more inside]
posted by forwebsites
on Feb 26, 2009 -
Not all of us need, or want, $10,000 worth of Adobe and Microsoft software to be creative. So, here's some alternatives, each available on every major platform:
, for all your drawing and photo-editing needs. (Windows
, for vector graphics creation.
, for incredibly powerful document creation.
, if you want to make your own fonts.
, the old standby for word processing, spreadsheets, and all those other office needs. [more inside]
posted by cthuljew
on Feb 20, 2009 -