|Robert B. Silvers, 1929 - 2017|
The tributes to Silvers at the NYRB website by their extensive and accomplished roster of writers reveal the extent to which they admired him both as a person and as an editor. As someone who engages in editing as part of my profession, I could only hope to aspire to a fraction of the editing virtues attributed to Silvers here. The thing about editing is that you need to push past the vague feeling that something is wrong or missing to put your finger on the actual shortcomings or gaps and then communicate them clearly and in ways that encourage. Not easily done.
I often wonder if by definition good editors must be good writers, or typically are good writers. I don't know about Silvers' writing abilities, but he edited a damn good publication that continues to enrich my life.