Times Magazine, Deadly Dullness Of


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October 12, 1961, Vol. VI, No. 51

Times Magazine, Deadly Dullness Of

By John Wilcock

One of the reasons why the New York Times Magazine is so deadly dull is because the innumerable assistant editors up there are obliged to read and express opinions on almost every manuscript. They’re all so scared of the autocratic Lester Markel, Sunday editor, that they make suggestions that cause contributors to rewrite, rewrite, rewrite.

The legend is that Markel, addressing the Times’ Washington staff, once remarked: “You people shouldn’t complain so much about rewriting. Why, we had a piece from Barbara Ward recently and made her rewrite it five times.” Whereupon an anonymous voice from the back of the room replied: “Yes, and you ran all of them.”

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This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 2, 2009


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