In 2004, Robert Birnbaum interviewed Renata Adler at The Morning News; unsurprisingly, the matchup of these two idiosyncratic people produced an interesting, wide-ranging, scattershot interview touching on many aspects of writing and reporting and publishing.
My colleague Benjamin Chambers has twice expressed befuddlement at Adler’s inability to quote the last line of her own novel Speedboat accurately. The line Adler mangled, in her book Gone: The Last Days of The New Yorker, runs as follows: “It could be that the sort of sentence one wants right here is the kind that runs, and laughs, and slides, and stops right on a dime.”
With this in mind, here’s the sentence that jumped out at me: “I have this quirk, this neuroticism, [pause] this habit … of editing all the way down to the wire and past.”
So that’s it. She was just editing past the wire again!
Hello! I’m Emily Gordon, an editor, critic, copywriter, and pre-web internet nut. Emdashes, born in 2004, spent many years as a New Yorker fan blog. The project garnered some nice compliments and press.
The blog’s now treading the territories of punctuation, publications, movies, design, and other things that stir me.
Over the years, I’ve worked with a brilliant brigade of culture writers, editors, and artists. You can read all about the people who've helped build Emdashes here at “Who We?” (That’s a New Yorker joke. Old habits die hard.)
I welcome submissions, questions, corrections, and ardent, obsessive contributors. I also host occasional book-related contests and giveaways. Questioners and publishers, just email me.
Jennifer Hadley designed the original Emdashes pencil logo, based on a 1943 Dorothy Gray ad.