Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process - Editors and Publisher Summary & Analysis

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Summary

John McPhee opens "Editors and Publisher" with an introduction of Robert Gottlieb, who replaced William Shawn, McPhee's long-time editor at The New Yorker in 1987. Gottlieb is an eccentric but highly skilled editor. When John submits a piece titled "Looking for a Ship," Gottlieb objects to the use of the word "motherfucker" in the essay, even though it appears as part of a direct quote spoken by one of John's interviewees. John then reflects back on the history of profanity in The New Yorker. During the many previous decades in which William Shawn was in charge, profanity was, in Shawn's words "not for us" (64). Shawn favoured euphemisms, but even objected to turns of phrase which he considered too suggestive. In addition, Shawn refused to publish advertising for cigarettes and a piece in which "a character mentioned a diaphragm" (65). John continues to cite examples...

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This section contains 1,388 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process Study Guide
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