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The Work of Revision
Author: Hannah Sullivan

ISBN: 9780674073128
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 322
Published: 26 May 2013
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.5 x 3.3
Description:
Revision might seem to be an intrinsic part of good writing. But Hannah Sullivan argues that we inherit our faith in the virtues of redrafting from early-twentieth-century modernism. Closely examining changes made in manuscripts, typescripts, and proofs by T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and others, she shows how modernist approaches to rewriting shaped literary style, and how the impulse to touch up, alter, and correct can sometimes go too far. In the nineteenth century, revision was thought to mar a composition's originality--a prejudice cultivated especially by the Romantics, who believed writing should be spontaneous and organic, and that rewriting indicated a failure of inspiration. Rejecting such views, avant-garde writers of the twentieth century devoted themselves to laborious acts of rewriting, both before and after publishing their work. The great pains undertaken in revision became a badge of honor for writers anxious to justify the value and difficulty of their work. In turn, many of the distinctive effects of modernist style--ellipsis, fragmentation, parataxis--were produced by zealous, experimental acts of excision and ad...

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