Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 379



Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.

Page 379

just returning from abroad, as to this proposed sharing of his editor.

For one man to edit two magazines inevitably meant a distribution of effort, and this Mr. Curtis counselled against. He did not believe that any man could successfully serve two masters; it would also mean a division of public association; it might result in Bok’s physical undoing, as already he was overworked. Mr. Curtis’s arguments, of course, prevailed; the negotiations were immediately called off, and for the second time—for some wise reason, undoubtedly—the real Edward Bok was subdued. He went back into the bottle!

A cardinal point in Edward Bok’s code of editing was not to commit his magazine to unwritten material, or to accept and print articles or stories simply because they were the work of well-known persons. And as his acquaintance with authors multiplied, he found that the greater the man the more willing he was that his work should stand or fall on its merit, and that the editor should retain his prerogative of declination—if he deemed it wise to exercise it.

Rudyard Kipling was, and is, a notable example of this broad and just policy. His work is never imposed upon an editor; it is invariably submitted, in its completed form, for acceptance or declination. “Wait until it’s done,” said Kipling once to Bok as he outlined a story to him which the editor liked, “and see whether you want it. You can’t tell until then.” (What a difference from the type of author who insists that an editor must take his or her story before a line is written!)



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