RARA-AVIS: cutting Ellroy down to size

From: Mark Sullivan ( DJ-Anonyme@webtv.net)
Date: 09 Dec 2002

Recently, Jack wrote about Bravo's show on turning LA Confidential into a movie (which I taped, but have not yet had a chance to watch):

"Also, in the same show Ellroy and his agent admitted that when the publisher wouldn't let him submit and 800 page manuscript that they went back and took out conjunctions and articles to cut down on word count."

I've always wondered about this story. Wasn't Ellroy already a big seller by the time he submitted White Jazz? Would his publisher really refuse a manuscript for length? They sure didn't on his next two novels. I've always thought this story might just be part of Ellroy's myth-making, similar to the story that William S. Burroughs discovered the cut-up style of writing by dropping his manuscript of Naked Lunch while handing it to Allen Ginsberg (or was it Kerouac?), then randomly stacking the pages back into the box and sending it along to his publisher as is.


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