[ilds] Yes a quibble

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Sat Mar 8 17:45:31 PST 2008

Bill, in the context of the original email exchanges, dealing with my abbreviated citation to Sophie Atkinson's An Artist in Corfu [1911], which I called "the thing itself" and which you chose to transpose into Heidgegger's "das Ding an sich" (or whoever the German philosopher was that coined the phrase) -- in that context your comment is a very big quibble.  I now hold Sophie's book in hand, and it is indeed a thing in itself, which is beautifully "Written and Pictured by Sophie Atkinson" (the words on her title page), with her prose and paintings, and which Lawrence Durrell unfortunately did not respect when he plagiarized some of her material.  True, there's no copyright indicated in her book, but that was common in those days (I have many books in my library printed in London during the early 20th century, and they also do not have a copyright notice).  Nevertheless, I'm told on good authority that she was still protected under British copyright laws, and Durrell surely knew that fact but probably chose her book because he knew few people would have access to it (which is not my observation on LD's intentions -- a similar comment, if I'm not mistaken, you yourself, Bill, made once on the list).

Now, when you read a footnote and see a short citation, which is now being encouraged in journals these days, do you normally question the author about his book and ask if it's a MS, first draft, first printing, or whatever?  Do you mentally do all the things that are being done in the Victorian section you quote below.  I think not.  I think you wouldn't quibble, that is, you'd probably accept the citation as a reference to a published book and go on to more important questions, such as why Durrell chose to plagiarize Sophie Atkinson's work.

By the way, anyone who wants to learn more about Ms. Sophie Atkinson can go to the Wikipedia and find an excellent short biography about her.  She led a remarkable life of travel, writing, and painting.  The biography was written by Michael Haag, who, I think, left the ILDS for personal reasons which I am beginning to share.


-----Original Message-----
>From: william godshalk <godshawl at email.uc.edu>
>Sent: Mar 8, 2008 11:19 AM
>To: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>, ilds at lists.uvic.ca
>Subject: not quibble, dear sir, but 
>Bruce writes: 
>You're quibbling, Bill. By this standard, scholarship would never get done, but then maybe that'swhat textual scholarship is all about, for some, endless corrections andemendations.
>I pass on this Call for Papers which shows, I think, the complexities --some of them -- of print publication. Manuscript and oral publication areeven more problematic. And, of course, scholarship never does "getdone." Something always remains to question and explore andunderstand. We are scholar adventurers.  Richard Altick, we salutethee. Vale atque vale.
>Victorian Authors, Readers, and Publishers. This session will examinethe relationships between Victorian authors, readers, and publishers withan emphasis on the business of literature. How do authors view themselvesas both artists and workers? How do readers evaluate literature as bothculture and commodity? How do publishers serve as mediators betweenauthors and readers? How does the production of books affect authors,readers, publishers, and their relationships? Proposed papers may dealwith the history of the book, the book as a material object, bookproduction and sales, advertising, reader responses, author studies, orother related topics. Please send abstract and CV to Troy J. Bassett,Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, bassettt at ipfw.edu, byApril 11, 2008.

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