India Uncut

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

What makes a great editor?

Being sane is a start. Henry Finder, the editorial director of the New Yorker, is quoted as saying of David Remnick, his editor:
[Remnick] has something very scarce in this city: an aura of sanity. He exudes a sort of calm that most New Yorkers get to experience only with prescription medication. As an editor, I think that aura of equipoise turns out to be very helpful, because you have so many people here who are professional neurotics, always acting out, drama queens, who have one form of craziness or another. And I think he sees it as his job to be... sane.
There's much more in this fine profile of Remnick by Gaby Wood in the Observer. What is remarkable about Remnick, as Wood's piece also states, is that he was one of the finest reporters of his generation before he became an editor. It's exceedingly rare for anyone to combine the qualities of a great reporter and a great editor, and Remnick unquestionably is both.

To read some of Remnick's reporting, check out the collection of some of his best work, Reporting. He writes about sports and politics, profiles writers, captures history, and in each case, it could scarcely be done better. Two of his pet subjects are boxing and Russia, and I'd highly recommend his books, King of the World and Lenin's Tomb.

And just buy all of the remarkable magazine he edits.

(Observer link via Sonia.)
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