3.31.2022 – much lucubration

much lucubration,
confused line of thought – this way
of course, lies madness

Yes, I had to look it up.

Lucubration means study or mediation or a piece of writing, typically a pedantic or overelaborate one.

Like some blogs I know.

I seem to be stuck in rut quoting James Thurber lately.

His book on the founder of the New Yorker Magazine, The Years with Ross, is a trip to the dictionary waiting to happen.

I cannot vouch for its content or the stories told in the book except to mention that the White’s. EB and Katherine Angell, did not care for the book and thought the portrayal of Ross by Thurber was unnecessarily unkind.

The writing.

The contruction.

The play of words against each other.

It is fun to read for the writing.

Then with the discussion of how Harold Ross edited short stories.

Well, like I said, I have been dipping in and out of it over and again since I was able to get a copy in ebook form.

The passage in particular dealt with how long a certain story took to write.

Thurber is quoting another managing editor, Stanley Walker, who said about Harold Ross (Thurber wrote):

“He thought such a story should have required at least a week’s work and painful lucubration. Then, following this confusing line of thought, he wondered if he were not being cheated by the writers who took too much time. This way, of course, lies madness.”

It must have been crazy wonderful to work in that environment I think.

Most of my working career has been spent working in ‘Creative’ Deaprtments.

I have had great bosses who understood that the last thing you want to do is creative people is force them into a system and take away the thing that makes them creative.

I have had bosses who believed in the system and did not care a fig about the output so long as all the check marks were checked.

This way, of course, lies madness.

Thurber ends these couple of pages with one last quote from Mr. Walker on his time at the New Yorker.

 “. . . it was like fighting a revolving door in a blizzard. You can’t win, but anger doesn’t get you anywhere either. “

I guess.

So long as there is generous time available for much lucubration.

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