Perkins waved red flag, but Wolfe ignored it. Too bad.

“[A. Scott Berg, biographer of Maxwell Perkins] said that when [Thomas] Wolfe wrote a book that detailed how Perkins had hewn his novels from dense forests of Wolfean prose, ‘Perkins begged him, in vain, not to publish it. Max always said that if editors were too well known the public would lose faith in writers, and that, above all, writers would lose faith in themselves. And that is exactly what happened to Thomas Wolfe.’”

— From “Ghost Editor” by Tad Friend in the New Yorker (June 20)

Berg’s  “Max Perkins: Editor of Genius” (1978) underlies the new movie “Genius,” in which Perkins is played by Colin Firth and Wolfe by Jude Law.

A local aside from Mountain Xpress previewer  Ken Hanke: “Now, you might want to know that, no, none of the film takes place in Asheville (apart from one brief bit that’s supposed to be Riverside Cemetery), but considering that it only covers 1929-1938 that’s hardly surprising. “

 

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