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    Death, Politics and the Archive: the two editions of David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas

    Eve, Martin Paul (2016) Death, Politics and the Archive: the two editions of David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas. In: What Happens Now? 21st-Century Writing in English, 27th-30th June 2016, University of Lincoln. (Unpublished)

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    Abstract

    In 2003, David Mitchell's contact at the US branch of Random House moved from the publisher, leaving the American edition of Cloud Atlas without an editor for approximately three months. Meanwhile, the UK edition of the manuscript was undergoing a series of editorial changes and rewrites that were never synchronized back into the US edition of the text. When the process was resumed at Random House under the editorial guidance of David Ebershoff, changes from New York were likewise not imported back into the UK edition. In the section entitled “An Orison of Sonmi ~451” these desynchronized rewritings are nearly total at the level of linguistic expression between UK and US paperbacks/electronic editions and there are a range of sub-episodes that only feature in one or other of the published editions. Within the constraints of copyright on contemporary fiction, my paper sets out this textual variance and visually plots the re-ordering and re-writing of the Sonmi section of the novel across versions. Further to this, although it is beyond the scope here to be more than suggestive in the range of new readings that might emerge from these findings, I also signal here a number of ways in which we might re-orientate our interpretative strategies to deal with the multiple and different editions of this text and other contemporary novels.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Arts > English and Humanities
    Research Centre: Contemporary Literature, Centre for
    Depositing User: Martin Paul Eve
    Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2016 11:57
    Last Modified: 13 Jan 2017 09:38
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/15632

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