In the latest issue of the "National Library of Australia News", Meredith McKinney writes about the process that she and Patricia Clarke had to go through to compile a collection of Judith Wright's letters. It's not the straight-forward exercise you might imagine. The new book, With Love and Fury: Selected Letters of Judith Wright, was published by the library last year.
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Bruce Gillespie has been an editor for almost as long as I've known him. His problem is that publishers are slowly reducing the amount of money they are willing to spend on the editing process, so his work is being squeezed. As a consequence he's had some rather peculiar things come across his desk: "These days, indexing is my living, because during 2005 I've been sent only two editing jobs (which earn real money) and have had to scrape along on the proceeds of a scattering of proofreading jobs and some interesting indexing assignments.
"To index the book I want to discuss, I had to sign a confidentiality agreement with the publisher. Luckily I told only one other person, my wife Elaine, about this agreement. 'What's the book, then?' she said. 'The Latham Diaries? 'Yes,' I said. So we both had to shut up about my indexing job until the day extracts hit the media."
Bruce then goes on to talk about his reaction to the book, and in doing so probably delivers the best review I read of it anywhere - as well as providing an interesting look at the job of an indexer along the way.