All That Was Left

After editing, this is all that was left.

So read the single line in the single issue of an old friend’s short-lived literary journal. Contributors gave of their best, but he was a discerning editor. So discerning, indeed, that he stripped their articles of absolutely all content. Even the title of the journal never made it past the drafts. Everything was lost in the editing process. Everything but that line.

Mad he certainly was, but sometimes I know how my old friend felt. Being an editor is no easy task. Re-reading all the articles that appeared on Underneath the Bunker I am struck constantly by the inferior quality of the writing. I take a sentence out, I take another sentence out. I change a word or two. There is improvement, yes – but is it good enough? I wonder whether I would rather be left with nothing at all. Pure faultless nothingness. Who could improve upon an empty page? The expectation of words is so much better than the actuality of them.

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