Editor’s Note: We are living in an editorial world, and I am an…


Editor’s Note: We are living in an editorial world, and I am an…

We live in an editor’s world. I read that, I think, in The New York Times, and since I am an editor, it perked me up. Finally, someone telling me the world is my oyster, stars have aligned, time to make hay, stack wood, etc. When I dug into the message, though, it was somewhat less empowering. It turns out, everyone is an editor now. They edit their Spotify playlists, Pinterest pinboards, and Facebook statuses. They edit their bookmarks, preferences, and inboxes. They edit their e-mail correspondences, their monthly reports, and, yes, some of them still even edit their own blogs.

I found myself asking whether I am more Editaur or editurd (an affectionate term I picked up as a freelancer). Am I more valuable in this new culture of semi-automatic communication or less? And if you read this first enough, you’d know that question sent me down a bit of a rabbit hole, tearing through partial recollections of a literary theory course on Barthes, Derrida, and Benjamin to locate the editor in me and then clawing my way back up the slippery walls of that dark well of memory, nearly drowned there, towards daylight and some solid grip on reality that would allow me to put out a paper this week, provided my writers do all the work.

This week’s feature on Mommy Bloggers gets at the tension between subject and object when they’re the same person. Where would we be without the blog voice? Certainly not here, with me writing an editor’s note to you like we are secret friends who have agreed not to speak in the supermarket. Better yet, how did we get here? A mistrust of objectivity? A yearning for absolution? Too many sources of information? Cannot compute…system shutting down…human error. As usual.

Epitaph by Walter Benjamin, from Illuminations: Essays and Reflections: “We do not always proclaim loudly the most important thing we have to say. Nor do we always privately share it with those closest to us, our intimate friends, those who have been most devotedly ready to receive our confession.”