Rich Because Your Parents Are?

The current issue of Fence has an amazing introduction from Rebecca Wolff, the literary magazine and publishing house’s editor and creator. In “Publishing is Personal” (pdf, sorry!) Wolff talks about the power and influence that come with deciding what gets published, and how that privilege is or isn’t linked to her ‘outer resources.’

“The question of whether I, Rebecca Wolff, am personally “rich,” has troubled my identity as a publisher from the start,” she says:

I’m rich, but only by comparison and because I accept the label because it is closer to the truth than to say I’m not. I don’t live like a rich person—I do my own laundry and I clean my own house and I can’t afford much childcare and I must not lose my job or I will lose my health insurance (though this prohibition may soon be lifted). However my parents own seven apartments in Manhattan and a house and some land in Truro and some farmland in Tennessee and when they pass on they will leave me half of whatever remains of this and I will be rich. And before my marriage they purchased every used car I ever drove into the ground. They paid off my student loans the day I graduated. I accrue debt like a regular person but I shake it like a rich person.

And that is my working definition, in this current cultural context, of a rich person: One who has certain assurances. If my bubble bursts I can go home to mom and dad. Thank the lord. I don’t know where I’d be without them. I love them madly for the care they have always taken of me.

I mostly love that I am linking you guys to a pdf of an intro to Fence magazine. Blogging!

Photo: gawd

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