Archive - September 2009

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A Thousand Words To Create One Good Sentence

A Thousand Words To Create One Good Sentence

They tell a story of Thomas Wolfe when he lived in New York on First Avenue. Late one night the writer Nancy Hale, who lived on East 49th Street near Third Avenue, heard a kind of chant, which grew louder. She got out of bed and looked out of the window at two or three in the morning and there was the great figure of Thomas Wolfe, advancing in his long countryman’s stride, with his swaying black raincoat. As he went striding down the dark city street, he was chanting, “I wrote ten thousand words today – I wrote ten thousand words today.” Well, wait until his editor Maxwell Perkins got hold of it! There are stories of how Maxwell Perkins would arrive in Wolfe’s Village apartment–where Wolfe wrote standing up, using the top of the refrigerator as his desk–and Perkins would take boxloads of handwritten prose away with him, saying, “you’re done . . .

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