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"Out to where storytelling does not reach:" Karl Ove Knausgaard on the editor’s role


Karl Ove Knausgaard, author of the My Struggle series, recently penned en essay on the role of the editor, the editing process, and much more. It can be read on Eurozine.


To grasp what is going on in those shadows within the blackout zone, it might help to conduct a mental experiment: without the editors, what would the books have been like? In my case, the answer is simple: there would be no books. I would not have been an author. This is not to say that my editor writes the books for me, but rather that his thoughts, ideas and insights are essential for my writing. Those thoughts and ideas and insights of his are his contributions to my work and, therefore, to me; when he edits other writers, he will give them other things. Ideally, the job of editor is undefined and open enough to allow fine-tuning to fit with the demands, expectations, talent and integrity of each individual writer; above all, it is based on trust, and much more dependent on personal characteristics and understanding what people are like than on formal literary competence.”

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Click below to learn more about the My Struggle series.