Goto Thread: PreviousNext
Goto:  Message ListNew TopicSearchLog In
Goto Page: Previous12All
Current Page: 2 of 2
Re: editorial overreach
Posted by: Platypus (IP Logged)
Date: 8 January, 2018 09:45AM
Ancient History Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Have you seen the Variorum edition available from
> Hippocampus Press?

Yes. My post above was meant to be a discussion of Joshi's latest text of "The White Ship" in his Variorum Edition. Sorry I did not make that clear.

Re: editorial overreach
Posted by: Ancient History (IP Logged)
Date: 8 January, 2018 12:36PM
So...you're bitching about Joshi's editing of Lovecraft, based on the Variorum edition where he quite literally shows his work and lets readers see the differences between versions of the text...and you're doing it on a Clark Ashton Smith forum. What exactly are you hoping to achieve? Convince a bunch of CAS fans that your opinion on the One True Version(TM) of Lovecraft's texts is better than Joshi's preferred edition?

Re: editorial overreach
Posted by: Platypus (IP Logged)
Date: 8 January, 2018 06:15PM
Ancient History Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So...you're bitching about Joshi's editing of
> Lovecraft, based on the Variorum edition where he
> quite literally shows his work and lets readers
> see the differences between versions of the
> text...and you're doing it on a Clark Ashton Smith
> forum. What exactly are you hoping to achieve?
> Convince a bunch of CAS fans that your opinion on
> the One True Version(TM) of Lovecraft's texts is
> better than Joshi's preferred edition?

Wow! Hostility! Who exactly is "bitching" here? Look, man. You asked me a question, and I answered it in a spirit of politeness. Is there anything in this barrage of accusations that you'd like me to address? Or would it be best to assume you are just throwing a rage-tantrum, and ignore you?

And no, obviously I'm not trying to establish any kind of One True Version (TM) of Lovecraft's texts. That's Joshi's game, not mine. I have simply tried to do some independent textual research. A silly hobby, perhaps. But whatever.

Re: editorial overreach
Posted by: Ancient History (IP Logged)
Date: 8 January, 2018 07:06PM
Yeah...the same one I've had since the beginning. Why here? Even if there was anything to what you said - which I don't allow, since I find your arguments unconvincing and bloody ironic that you're trying to pick apart the Variorum of all things - which is the very definition of Joshi showing his work - why the hell would you bring it up in a Clark Ashton Smith forum?

Re: editorial overreach
Posted by: Platypus (IP Logged)
Date: 8 January, 2018 08:39PM
Ancient History Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Yeah...the same one I've had since the beginning.
> Why here?

I saw a discussion here, and I chimed in. That was my original motivation when I first came here, in another thread. Still is.

> Even if there was anything to what you
> said - which I don't allow, ...

You "don't allow"? LOL! Nonetheless, I have consulted the source texts for "The White Ship", including the facsimile manuscript published in WHISPERS, and they are indeed as I described.

> arguments unconvincing and bloody ironic that
> you're trying to pick apart the Variorum of all
> things - which is the very definition of Joshi
> showing his work -

I never accused him of "not showing his work", in the Variorum Edition. I made very specific claims, which you have chosen to ignore. Though, since you bring it up, Joshi's textual notes are often incomplete.

> - why the hell would you bring it
> up in a Clark Ashton Smith forum?

The answer is WHO CARES? This thread has been here for months, and I did not start it. And its not the only off-topic thread on this forum either. If its presence offends you, complain to those who run this site, to have it deleted, or whatever.

Okay, then. I'm off to the George MacDonald thread. Hopefully, you will not pursue me there, to angrily scold me for discussing George MacDonald in a CAS forum.

Re: editorial overreach
Posted by: Platypus (IP Logged)
Date: 9 January, 2018 10:21PM
Regarding "Pickman's Model" (in Joshi's Variorum Edition, Vol. 2).


Kipling Wrote:
> Shortly
> after the books came out I cited another example,
> and Joshi was kind enough to respond, stating that
> "Lovecraft has made a grammatical error here." You
> decide; is the deletion of the 3rd comma in the
> following sentence a grammatical error, or just an
> alteration of sentence structure?: "There's no
> use in my trying to tell you what they were like,
> because the awful, the blasphemous horror, and the
> unbelievable loathsomeness and moral foetor came
> from simple touches quite beyond the power of
> words to classify."

Yeah, I don't understand why Joshi would tell you this is a grammatical error. Obviously it is not.

Setting that aside, I would have assumed that Joshi's reason for adopting this variant is simply that one of his source texts supports that reading. Specifically, there is no third comma in the second WEIRD TALES printing for this story, from 1936.

[archive.org]

In his "Editor's note" on p. 56, Joshi discusses his belief that the second WEIRD TALES printing contains, in his opinion, deliberate revisions by HPL. And I think I agree with his assessment here. This raises the possibility that HPL may have deleted the comma himself. Respect for the second WEIRD TALES printing as (potentially) HPL's final draft would certainly be a valid reason for preferring its readings over earlier readings.

Joshi is rather arbitrary in ascribing some changes to HPL and others to the magazine editors. I don't know on what basis one would decide that it was HPL who dropped the comma in this sentence, but the editors who decided to italicise the phrase "Witches' Sabbath". But he adopts most of the significant revisions, and I think he is right to do so.

One change that Joshi fails to notice (or mention in his text notes) is the change to the past tense when discussing the artist Angarola. "Angarola of Chicago has it" is changed in the second printing to "Angarola of Chicago had it". The reason for the change is fairly clear. Between the first printing of the tale (1927), and the second (1936), Angarola had died.

This suggests that, along with Pickman's house being moved from Marlborough Street to Newbury Street in the revised story, the action of the story was deliberately updated to 1936. This further suggests that Joshi is correct when he follows the second WEIRD TALES text in deleting a rather awkward reference to the narrator's service in the Great War.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 9 Jan 18 | 10:53PM by Platypus.

Re: editorial overreach
Posted by: Kipling (IP Logged)
Date: 10 January, 2018 08:23PM
Thanks for the interesting insights. So, the comma could have tbeen deleted by HPL for the 2nd WT appearance of "Pickman's Model," although it seems more likely to me that the magazine eds did it. I'm in accord with the deference to Joshi's achievement while still rejecting the premise that, again to use his own words, HPL "was very inconsistent" with SHOW. Inconsistent is defined as "erratic" or "contradictory", and there are very few examples supporting that perception. In the autograph ms. of "Pickman's Model" the verb occurs 20 times. The narrator uses the British form while Pickman uses the modern. Except on pg. 61, where HPL changed "shew" to "show" in the typed ms. That was to be consistent with Pickman's preceding uses of "show". The same happens with the narrator on pg. 64-- "shown" was changed in the TMS to "shewn", matching the narrator's established preference for the British spelling. The tale that does show inconsistency is "The Whisperer in Darkness", but Lovecraft's preference for "shew" and the like did not prevent him from choosing the modern spellings when it suited him. Joshi's view that it was an accommodation may have more than hypothetical support of course; one of the first stories written after the 5 he initially sent to Weird Tales editor Edwin Baird was "From Beyond", and he uses the modern spellings for the speech of the madman therein. This may suggest a reaction towards accommodation, but I think not. What is beyond dispute is that he used the British spellings of the verb consistently only in narration. The "Herbert West" stories are an exception (narrator uses modern spellings changed to British by Joshi). The omnipresence of "shew" in Lovecraft's letters is hardly as relevant as Joshi suggests. After all, why should a young medical student, a German U-boat Commander, an obsessed artist or mad scientist, a Geologist or Harry Houdini, all be "eschewing" the modern usage of "show"?

Re: editorial overreach
Posted by: Platypus (IP Logged)
Date: 21 January, 2018 05:32PM
Kipling Wrote:
> Not that it matters much, but I also disagree
> with the decision to place quotation marks around
> book titles, which technically adds errors. And
> what's up with the half-quotes ('Necronomicon') on
> III-519? So what if HPL used quotation marks
> around book titles in his letters?

True. It seems, however, from the following example from 1935, that HPL did not NECESSARILY use quotation marks in his letters:

In a May 1935 letter to Robert Block, HPL uses underlining (the manuscript equivalent of italics), for the Necronomicon, the Book of Eibon***, the Unausprechlichen Kulten, Cultes de Goules, De Vermis Mysteriis, and the Eltdown Shards. This last was probably an error, as his usual practice was to merely capitalize Eltdown Shards and Pnakotic Manuscripts:
[repository.library.brown.edu]

But from what I can tell, prior to about 1927 (or maybe a bit earlier, I have not thoroughly checked), HPL was more or less consistent in using quotes for book titles. From maybe 1927 onwards, he starts using underlining (the manuscript equivalent of italics) in his typescripts and manuscripts, and this can be seen, for instance, in his 1927 manuscripts of "The History of the Necronomicon" and "Charles Dexter Ward"; and many later texts.

Joshi, as far as I can tell, fully acknowledges this in his text notes variorum. His refusal to follow what some might conclude were HPL's final wishes, seems to be based on the idea that HPL adopted this new habit only to appease his oppressive editors. A similar theory seems to justify his treatment of the word "shew".

However, the letter cited above seems to work against this theory. Whether he was influenced by his editors or not, he seems to have internalized the new habit to some extent. There was, after all, no danger that his letter to Robert Bloch would be wickedly meddled with by oppressive editors.

In his essay, "Supernatural Horror in Literature", HPL seems to have made a deliberate choice to use italics (and never quotes) for all the works discussed there, regardless of whether or not such works had ever been published as a standalone volume. Some might argue that this was not quite correct, as applied, for instance, to the short stories, but to my mind it makes perfect sense in the context of that essay. HPL was concerned with these works in the abstract, and not with the context in which they were published. The consistent use of italics allows the reader to scan the essay for titles of works (no matter how long or short), and frees up the use of quote marks for many other purposes of which HPL is fond. Joshi has not yet made (to my knowledge) a new variorum edition of this essay; which is a good thing, as a consistent attempt to promote his new "quotes-for-book titles" policy would turn a tidy essay into a messy one. It would not be an improvement. Context matters.

*** A reference, of course, to the work of the great CLARK ASHTON SMITH; which I point out to appease the "how dare you not talk about CAS" folks.



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 21 Jan 18 | 05:57PM by Platypus.

Re: editorial overreach
Posted by: Kipling (IP Logged)
Date: 21 January, 2018 10:12PM
Platypus Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Kipling Wrote:
> > Not that it matters much, but I also
> disagree
> > with the decision to place quotation marks
> around
> > book titles, which technically adds errors.
> And
> > what's up with the half-quotes ('Necronomicon')
> on
> > III-519? So what if HPL used quotation marks
> > around book titles in his letters?
>
> True. It seems, however, from the following
> example from 1935, that HPL did not NECESSARILY
> use quotation marks in his letters:
>
> In a May 1935 letter to Robert Block, HPL uses
> underlining (the manuscript equivalent of
> italics), for the Necronomicon, the Book of
> Eibon***, the Unausprechlichen Kulten, Cultes de
> Goules, De Vermis Mysteriis, and the Eltdown
> Shards. This last was probably an error, as his
> usual practice was to merely capitalize Eltdown
> Shards and Pnakotic Manuscripts:
> [repository.library.brown.edu]
> dr:431122/
>
> But from what I can tell, prior to about 1927 (or
> maybe a bit earlier, I have not thoroughly
> checked), HPL was more or less consistent in using
> quotes for book titles. From maybe 1927 onwards,
> he starts using underlining (the manuscript
> equivalent of italics) in his typescripts and
> manuscripts, and this can be seen, for instance,
> in his 1927 manuscripts of "The History of the
> Necronomicon" and "Charles Dexter Ward"; and many
> later texts.
>
> Joshi, as far as I can tell, fully acknowledges
> this in his text notes variorum. His refusal to
> follow what some might conclude were HPL's final
> wishes, seems to be based on the idea that HPL
> adopted this new habit only to appease his
> oppressive editors. A similar theory seems to
> justify his treatment of the word "shew".
>
> However, the letter cited above seems to work
> against this theory. Whether he was influenced by
> his editors or not, he seems to have internalized
> the new habit to some extent. There was, after
> all, no danger that his letter to Robert Bloch
> would be wickedly meddled with by oppressive
> editors.
>
> In his essay, "Supernatural Horror in Literature",
> HPL seems to have made a deliberate choice to use
> italics (and never quotes) for all the works
> discussed there, regardless of whether or not such
> works had ever been published as a standalone
> volume. Some might argue that this was not quite
> correct, as applied, for instance, to the short
> stories, but to my mind it makes perfect sense in
> the context of that essay. HPL was concerned with
> these works in the abstract, and not with the
> context in which they were published. The
> consistent use of italics allows the reader to
> scan the essay for titles of works (no matter how
> long or short), and frees up the use of quote
> marks for many other purposes of which HPL is
> fond. Joshi has not yet made (to my knowledge) a
> new variorum edition of this essay; which is a
> good thing, as a consistent attempt to promote his
> new "quotes-for-book titles" policy would turn a
> tidy essay into a messy one. It would not be an
> improvement. Context matters.
>
> *** A reference, of course, to the work of the
> great CLARK ASHTON SMITH; which I point out to
> appease the "how dare you not talk about CAS"
> folks.


Context should matter because Lovecraft clearly favors the use of "show" and "showed" when a character is SPEAKING while typically reserving "shew" and "shewed" for the narrators or narration. Joshi, in replying to me thru a third person, ironically, used the phrase "regardless of context" to explain his position. So when you say "seems to justify his treatment of the verb "shew", but later point out that "context matters," you are having it both ways instead of acknowledging Joshi's error. HPL created so few substantial characters; nevertheless, the question of his "final wishes," as you put it is not in question with regard to the quoted speech of said characters. He chose/preferred to use "show" and "showed" in these contexts.
Context does matter, and the systematic use of "shew" is editorial self-indulgence that gives a false impression of the author's "preferences". No amount of Polly-ann avoidance of criticism changes that apparent fact.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 21 Jan 18 | 10:17PM by Kipling.

Re: editorial overreach
Posted by: Platypus (IP Logged)
Date: 22 January, 2018 04:52PM
Kipling Wrote:
> So when you say
> "seems to justify his treatment of the verb
> "shew", but later point out that "context
> matters," you are having it both ways instead of
> acknowledging Joshi's error.

Ah, no, sorry. You've misunderstood me, and I suppose that's probably my fault. By "seems to justify" I merely meant "this seems to be the theory that Joshi uses to justify (in his opinion) his overuse of "shew'." I did not mean to imply I agreed with him, and that the practice is in fact justified.

I don't believe that HPL typed up his typescripts to say "show" only because he was bullied by evil editors who refused to follow his heart-felt wishes. For one thing, we know that on at least one occasion ("The White Ship") he submitted a text with the archaic spelling "shew", and on that occasion, WEIRD TALES was happy to faithfully reproduce that archaic spelling.

> HPL created so few
> substantial characters; nevertheless, the question
> of his "final wishes," as you put it is not in
> question with regard to the quoted speech of said
> characters. He chose/preferred to use "show" and
> "showed" in these contexts.

I have not actually noticed such a pattern. The pattern I have noticed is that "show" usually looks like "shew" when HPL writes in script (because that's his habitual way of writing), but when he prepares typescripts, it is generally typed up as "show", unless HPL is aiming for some particular archaic effect.

> Context does matter, and the systematic use of
> "shew" is editorial self-indulgence that gives a
> false impression of the author's "preferences".

Well ... yeah!

Joshi glorifies HPL's natural idiosyncrasies of hand-writing, and effectively deprives him of his right to control how he wants his final draft to be presented. His hand-scribbled drafts were never what he submitted or authorized for publication.

Re: editorial overreach
Posted by: Platypus (IP Logged)
Date: 25 January, 2018 08:06PM
Another early-draft issue ...

HPL has a tendency towards the overuse of italics for emphasis (which of course would be underlining in manuscript). This flaw is especially prominent in his early drafts; but tends to correct itself in later drafts and published versions. That the italics never seem to disappear when truly appropriate, suggests that these are deliberate changes, and not accidental ones.

Joshi, however, never saw any italics he did not like, and invariably favors early drafts on this issue. This deprives HPL of the right to correct himself.

Re: editorial overreach
Posted by: Kipling (IP Logged)
Date: 1 August, 2018 02:47PM
Platypus Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Another early-draft issue ...
>
> HPL has a tendency towards the overuse of italics
> for emphasis (which of course would be underlining
> in manuscript). This flaw is especially prominent
> in his early drafts; but tends to correct itself
> in later drafts and published versions. That the
> italics never seem to disappear when truly
> appropriate, suggests that these are deliberate
> changes, and not accidental ones.
>
> Joshi, however, never saw any italics he did not
> like, and invariably favors early drafts on this
> issue. This deprives HPL of the right to correct
> himself.


Precisely. Joshi's texts do not follow Lovecraft's final wishes. The 1973 Arkham ed. of The Dunwich Horror is in fact superior to Joshi's "corrected text because it is free from the verbal errors we discussed. Joshi ruined "Pickman's Model", "In the Vault", "The Call of Cthulhu", and "The Whisperer in Darkness" with his poor "shewing" as editor. I purchased a copy of Arkham '73 just an hour ago- "as new", kept in storage since the 70s, supposedly. To falsely render a character's speech as written by the author is inexcusable; to claim it as editorial privilege is absurd.

Goto Page: Previous12All
Current Page: 2 of 2


Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
Top of Page