Quotes Categories

Editing And Editors Quotes

Rides in the whirlwind and directs the storm.

Author: Joseph Addison (1672-1719)

Profession: British Essayist, Poet, Statesman

The work was like peeling an onion. The outer skin came off with difficulty... but in no time you'd be down to its innards, tears streaming from your eyes as more and more beautiful reductions became possible.

Author: Edward Blishen (1920)

Profession: British Actor

Art, it seems to me, should simplify finding what conventions of form and what detail one can do without and yet preserve the spirit of the whole -- so that all that one has suppressed and cut away is there to the reader's consciousness as much as if it were in type on the page.

Author: Willa Cather (1876-1947)

Profession: American Author

Would you convey my compliments to the purist who reads your proofs and tell him or her that I write in a sort of broken-down patois which is something like the way a Swiss waiter talks, and that when I split an infinitive, God damn it, I split it so it will stay split, and when I interrupt the velvety smoothness of my more or less literate syntax with a few sudden words of bar-room vernacular, that is done with the eyes wide open and the mind relaxed but attentive.

Author: Raymond Chandler (1888-1959)

Profession: American Author

I trust it will not be giving away professional secrets to say that many readers would be surprised, perhaps shocked, at the questions which some newspaper editors will put to a defenseless woman under the guise of flattery.

Author: Kate Chopin (1851-1904)

Profession: American Author

When in doubt, delete it.

Author: Philip Cosby


Will you tell me my fault, frankly as to yourself, for I had rather wince, than die. Men do not call the surgeon to commend the bone, but to set it, Sir.

Author: Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

Profession: American Poet

An editor should tell the author his writing is better than it is. Not a lot better, a little better.

Author: T. S. Eliot (1888-1965)

Profession: American-born British Poet, Critic

I suppose some editors are failed writers; but so are most writers.

Author: T. S. Eliot (1888-1965)

Profession: American-born British Poet, Critic

In art economy is always beauty.

Author: Henry James (1843-1916)

Profession: American Author

Read your own compositions, and when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.

Author: Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

Profession: British Author

If they have a popular thought they have to go into a darkened room and lie down until it passes.

Author: Kelvin Mackenzie


What I have crossed out I didn't like. What I haven't crossed out I'm dissatisfied with.

Author: Cecil B. De Mille (1881-1959)

Profession: American Film Producer and Director

A writer is unfair to himself when he is unable to be hard on himself.

Author: Marianne Moore (1887-1972)

Profession: American Poet

Remember the waterfront shack with the sign FRESH FISH SOLD HERE. Of course it's fresh, we're on the ocean. Of course it's for sale, we're not giving it away. Of course it's here, otherwise the sign would be someplace else. The final sign: FISH.

Author: Peggy Noonan (1950)

Profession: American Author, Presidential Speechwriter