Jean Naggar, president of JVNLA, Inc., wrote a wonderful blog post for the Huffington Post that's currently up on their website. Check it out!!
"We literary agents are now essentially functioning as editors, stepping into the vacuum and metaphorically taking up the stubby red pencil we had stored as a memento of a bygone age. It is now our responsibility to our writers to polish the gem before it is even seen by editorial eyes. And since most publishers today will not consider unagented manuscripts, over our transoms they come tumbling for us to filter and refine."
I realize with gratitude that for every editor who espouses the fast and furious view there are still some willing to fall in love and to commit. I know who they are. Their names are lovingly breathed within the walls of our agency, Their opinions are shared and treasured. We know the editor who knows how to edit without dictating or ruffling the feathers of a sensitive novelist, who grasps the unspoken intent of the author and enables it, who believes in a work before that belief has been endorsed by everyone else, and who is willing to fight for it in a job climate where a lay-off may be a breath away."