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Do Publishing Salaries Affect Literature?

newyorkerpic.jpgPondering the merger of the William Morris and Endeavor agencies, New Yorker writer Willing Davidson wonders how the merger will affect the salaries of assistants at the literary and talent agencies.

The post examines the connection between internships and literary production. It’s a good question for GalleyCat readers. Do the famously low starting salaries for writers, assistants, and aspiring literary types affect literature?

Here’s the key passage: “Tiny salaries in the low ranks of publishing are miserable for the young workers, but they’re probably worse for literature … It’s a truism of the industry that most of these jobs are held by people who can afford them–people with some parental support and no student loans. Often they’ve had unpaid internships, that most pernicious example of class privilege. Their superiors are the same people, ten years later. They–we!–are smart, cultured people with good intentions, but it’s easy to see how this narrow range could lead to a blinkered view of literature.”

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