: Love & Kisses, Lust & Wishes :

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2018 Spring Vol. 76, No. 2

“Love and Kisses”

Love & Kisses, Lust & Wishes

There are few who doubt that Maxwell Perkins was the most significant editor of the last century. His championing of Fitzgerald, Hemingway and others showed not only his prescience as an editor, but his taste, his commitment to quality writing that set him apart from the other taste makers of his generation.

No one like him appeared, I would argue, in this century till Gordon Lish began his long career as an exacting editor, a gambler off sorts who not only edited for influential magazines and publishing houses, but who also wrote fiction in his spare time. The most prominent writer who came under his sway was Raymond Carver whose stories were edited by the strong hand of Lish and most critics agree his substantial intervention improved the work despite the protestations of Carver’s widow, the poet Tess Gallagher.

Carver was not coerced into accepting Lish’s suggested changes which resulted in some stories being altered by as much as sixty percent by the strong line editing of Lish. Readers can check the nature of the changes by looking at the Lish archives at the Lily Library at the University of Indiana.

Gordon Lish, I confess, is an old friend of mine and an Advisory Editor to this magazine. However, his presence as the apparent heir to Maxwell Perkins comes because of his commitment to writers--both young and old--ever since his days as the fiction editor of Esquire and his own literary magazine The Quarterly, A Broadway play “The Seminar” starring Alan Rickman about his famous writing workshop only increased his reputation as did and work of writers such as Amy Hempel, Barry Hannah, Sam Lipsyte, Yannick Murphy and the playwright Will Eno early in their careers.

Among his more charming and signature method of communicating via the post card that usually contains a few words of thanks, of encouragement, of advise about literary matters here and elsewhere ending with “Love and Kisses”. We open this number with a new story by Gordon that is bold and direct and close with one of the funniest “To Jerome With Love and Kisses” ever penned for this magazine.

Buy this issue.

To Gordon love and kisses. Bob


The BEST words in the BEST order for over 75 years.

See the table of contents for the 75th Anniversary Part I issue or the 75th Anniversary Part 2 issue.
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