Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Elie Wiesel on cutting

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Elie Wiesel

It is a struggle when I have to cut. I reduce nine hundred pages to one hundred sixty pages. I also enjoy cutting. I do it with a masochistic pleasure although even when you cut, you don’t. Writing is not like painting where you add. It is not what you put on the canvas that the reader sees. Writing is more like a sculpture where you remove, you eliminate in order to make the work visible. Even those pages you remove somehow remain. There is a difference between a book of two hundred pages from the very beginning, and a book of two hundred pages which is the result of an original eight hundred pages. The six hundred pages are there. Only you don’t see them.

Elie Wiesel, to The Paris Review

(Note: Just a reminder that I’ll be at two different panels today at Chicon 7: “Men Writing Women,” at 9:00 am, also featuring Bradley P. Beaulieu, Jan Bogstad, Myke Cole, and Russell Davis; and “Develop Your Story Idea,” at 3:00 pm, with B.A. Chepaitis, Jean Cavelos, Jamie Todd Rubin, and Courtney Schafer. The latter one, in particular, should be especially interesting.)

Written by nevalalee

September 1, 2012 at 7:30 am

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