These essays address a broad variety of issues faced by editors, textual critics, and others who are interested in the writing and revision processes involved in the development of literary texts. Individual chapters focus on the writing experiences of individual Victorian authors, such as Browning, Carlyle, Tennyson, Arnold, Henley, and Yeats; study the problems facing authors of texts that are transformed from serial-to-book versions like Conrad, Hardy, and Patmore; or explore the relationships between the composition and revision practices of artists who work in two modalities, the Pre-Raphaelites, Rossetti and Morris, as well as Beatrix Potter, for example.
Several of these articles also illustrate the problems involved in viewing a text as either a private or public work: they offer insights into individual authors’ personal motivations or the influence of public forces at a particular moment in the continually adjusting interplay of all such possible sources of revision.
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The Power of Blackness is a profound and searching reinterpretation of Hawthorne, Poe and Melville, the three classic American masters of fiction. It is also an experiment in critical method, an exploration of the myth-making process by way of what may come to be known as literary iconology.
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