Future of Editing – Dorothy Richardson and Stream of Consciousness

This week’s seminar was from Scott McCracken on Dorothy Richardson and editing Stream of Consciousness.

Collection is a work in progress.

“the psychological sentence of the feminine gender” Woolf about Richardson.

Called individual editions the chapter volumes, seen as part of a wider work. Publishers were keen to end the series. Posthumous MS incorporated.

Richardson had a patron who also published Stein and Hemingway.

OUP collections will start in 2016 and stretch to 2020. Might do non-fiction afterwards.

The Middles – early pieces pub. in Saturday Review. Her first attempt to write the snapshot of the now. Uses second person. Thinking about writing and using second person to capture the moment.

Not many critical editions of her work. George Thomson has donated source materials to project. US libraries bought up large amounts of material post war.

Frequent uses of ellipses in first edition but often removed in later editions. Words and music of abide with me are filtered into the text with fragments of memory.

Trying to get away from the term Steam of Consciousness. Clearest response to work in S J Kunitz (ed) Authors Today and Yesterday (1931). Has an idea of the contemplative centre. Quaker philosophy was an influence.

Tried to capture an awareness and how consciousness is perceived. Trying to capture the moment by throwing it to the screen – like Ulysses? Chapters broken down into sections but switches to gaps in later chapter gaps.

Gaps to encourage the reader not to read in straight forward way. Not clear whether she gets more encouragement to be experimental. Moves between dashes to speech marks in version. Outside influence / editor?

No correspondence for chapter 8 onwards and other impressions of interim might resolve this. Assumed that this is a mix up. Deliberate or chaos? Other impressions might give a clue.

Even her correspondence uses experiments in punctuation. Linking letters to the published prose.

Are experiments with punctuation and so on an immersive experience of memory?

Is the change in sections linked to cut and paste techniques?

Is the aim to create an adventure for readers, no beginning, middle, or end?

Ricoeur’ s Time and Narrative with its mimesis. Both Richardson and Ricouer looking at how the reader receives or uses the text.

Duckworth archives have disappeared but some archives of letters do exist. Handwriting links the words together which suggests controlling the reader – deliberate, SoC? – being more fluent in writing? OUP’s Scholarly editions will publish a digital edition and having to learn the skills of digital editing.

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