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In any case, Wilmers wears the editorial crown so naturally that how she came by it is academic. No matter how excellent and nurturing the atmosphere of the office, too much exuberance, it seems, is discouraged.
One former employee recalls how he became so friendly with a colleague at the next-door desk that they were, subtly, moved apart under the guise of a reorganisation.
This arrangement confers a rare independence on the publication, and considerable editorial freedom for its editor.‘‘I know her, but not well,’’ Wilmers says of Mantel. The LRB operates from a quiet office in Bloomsbury.The editorial staff look young, assiduous and terribly serious. New recruits are often stunned as pieces are systematically pulled to pieces and reassembled. Not discourage them by making them go through a swamp of unnecessary sentences,’’ she says.‘‘But I am and I find it unacceptable the way Israel comports itself and the way America supports it.I don’t think it’s helpful for Israel and I don’t think it’s helpful for the Middle East in general or America or the Jewish diaspora or anything.
Bennett uses the diary as a comical social threat: ‘‘He always says, ‘That’ll go in the diary’.’’ Another memoir recently published in the LRB came from the Man Booker Prize winner Hilary Mantel.