Friday, August 22, 2014


Malcolm Cowley
The Long Voyage
Selected Letters 1915-1987
edited by Hans Bak
Harvard, 2013

Behind every great man there is, these days, perhaps a woman, or another man. And vice-versa. Behind every great book there has been a great editor, and Malcolm Cowley was one of the greatest in 20th century American literature. His banner list of writers include Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Kerouac, Tillie Olsen, and John Cheever for starters. And on the Kerouac front, Cowley not only brought On the Road forth from where he worked at Viking, he went back to Kerouac after Viking initially rejected the book and impressed upon his colleagues to have another look.
 There's your editor.

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