Editing William T. Vollmann

Here is “An oral history of Rising UP and Rising Down”, a collection of people connected to Vollmann or his publisher McSweeney’s remembering the writing, editing and fact-checking that had gone into publishing Vollmann’s multi-volume treatise on violence. Very worth reading.

Copyediting this book was difficult. Vollmann writes in the voice of a man who’s going to examine every assumption and pursue every thought; he uses all these ornate grammatical constructions and really intricate punctuation. The syntax feels almost seventeenth-century in its crazy rigor; it’s like Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy or something.

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