Short shot #41: Our imperious authors

From Thomas Mallon’s review of Martin Stannard’s biography of Muriel Spark, in the New Yorker of April 5:

[later in life] She battled agents and accountants and editors with unusual fierceness. [note fierceness rather than ferocity] Edith Sitwell advised her to regard book businessmen witheringly, as if “through a pair of lorgnettes.” Spark eventually refused editing altogether. “If I write it, it’s grammatical,” she informed the novelist Christine Brooke-Rose, a friend, who had brought an infelicity to her attention. The galactic perspective from which she laughed at her characters’ earth-bound follies could not keep her from waging epic combat with a paperback editor over one poorly chosen word of jacket copy.

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