A Few Words About Arkansas, Getting Laid, And The New York Times

In this New York interview with Elmore Leonard, he reveals that not only did The New York Times tell him he couldn’t use the phrase "getting laid" in his new serialized novel for the NYT Magazine, but they told him that if he wrote "Arkansas" it would be abbreviated as "Ark.," even if it was dialogue. He agreed to the first rule, but won the battle on the second.

2 thoughts on “A Few Words About Arkansas, Getting Laid, And The New York Times

  1. There are only three writers in the world who I have active contempt for, and one of them is Elmore Leonard. He seems like a perfectly fine guy (like the other two); he’s just a terrible writer. No adverbs and “he said she said” does not a master make.
    I picked up “Mr. Paradise” because I’d heard so much about the guy and how he was aged and skilled. I was was shocked at how boring, thin, and difficult-to-follow it was. This guy’s been editing himself down to nothing for 80 years and now seems equipped, at best, to do crime screenplays.
    Anyway. He can say whatever he wants to the Times. He’s not getting any more of my money.

  2. While I agree that Leonard’s stories have gotten tiresome over the past ten years, it’s not ’cause of his writing style. I think that it’s a comment about how good a writer he is that while the stories may suck lately, his writing doesn’t.

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