Episode 44: Texts in a Different State of Matter

It’s been a while since I posted anything and I have to admit that a lot of stuff has been happening around here and very little of it is academic. Might do a more stalker friendly bio update once I get into the proper discipline of writing regularly. Still, I have been keeping with some of my readings and will probably write on some 90s sitcoms in between readings just to keep things fun.

I’ve been working a lot on John Bryant’s The Fluid Text. This book was a pretty cool one from MA thesis and being able to redifine textual fluidity to make it fit within the model of serial fiction in that the publication forms of the narrative make it change. Now the first few chapters of this book are editorial theory pure gold. I don’t rarely underline and mark up things in books but man I’ve got whole pages with huge asterisks of awesomeness. The one problem is that I think I’ve got all the good stuff already, hence any good passages I assume that I’ve already quoted before. And the rest I mark off as irrelevant because it’s all about Hemingway and his bookTypee. Short version: The British/European version was really good and rathe raunchy. When they brought the book to be published in the US it was basically gutted and edited worse than watching the tv version of Scarface. Whole chapters were removed, a bunch of small sentences just about everywhere and they never acknowledged the short sequel. The UK version however was unedited and included the sequel in its subsequent reprints. It’s like what you actually imagine the Director’s Cut/Unrated version of a movie. It gets even weirder once a bunch of textual theorists got together to make a version of the book that contained all of its variants between the version, something called a “genetic edition”.

So yeah, textual fluidity is awesome and can be applied to anything. I wonder if I could ever make a genetic edition of OOTS showing stuff like time between installments, footnotes gallore to explain references, and all the bonus comics from the books. That would be amazing.


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