Friday, September 01, 2006

A terrible piece of news

Not on the scale of Iraq or Lebanon, of course, but it's pretty much incredibly depressing: as Motoko Rich now officially reports at the Times, Village Voice Dismisses 8, Including Senior Arts Editors.

One of those editors is Ed Park, who is quite simply the best editor I've ever worked with. Writing for him has been a pure luxury, pure & simple in the most decadent way (M. F. K. Fisher has a famous passage about eating bread and chocolate and it being the perfect meal, if you see what I mean)--he assigns books with great imaginative flair and wit, he's an immensely well-read and stylish writer himself (a writer with a real sensibility, too, which is the thing I most care about), he's got an incredibly delicate hand as an editor and a sure sense of ethics and literary tact and all that sort of thing, in short he has made the Voice books section into something quite exceptional--unique, I'd say, and altogether wonderful in my opinion--in American literary & cultural commentary.

(He's also just now finishing a novel that is one of the most delightful things I've read in quite a while. Future readers have a great treat in store for them. It's a bit Nicholson Bakeresque but it is also like nothing but itself, in the best possible way.)

I have surely now embarrassed Ed almost to death, since he is also one of the more unassuming and modest literary geniuses in this town, but I wanted to register my dismay and disappointment at this latest development at the Voice.


  1. Do you know what's behind the decision?

  2. Lee, it was purchased by New Times, an evil, evil chain. this is very sad: all of the papers that used to be newsy alternative weekly papers are now owned by chains and are now lame entertainment weekly papers. Less news, less reviews, more snakes-on-a-plane type crap and all of it at MUCH lower quality. Christagau, Parks, et al should start their own thing--everyone in NYC would read it. This is really the end of the era!

  3. And why did the VOICE sell?

  4. I read about it this morning, and felt bad for Ed--but in a way, the firing is positive commentary on his integrity and talent, which appear to be threats to the new management. Thanks for the update on his doings. Am so glad to know he's still writing fiction and will be coming out with a novel soon. I still have fond memories of _The Happy Tilde_. OK, I'm joining in with embarrassing Ed publically. I should be writing to him myself, but don't know his email. Ed?

  5. I hadn't known about the Voice purchase until now, but retrospectively I'm not surprised. That's sad news, all round.