Sunday, April 16, 2006


To Hell With All That Revising

Well, I've had just about enough of future footnote Caitlin Flanagan. But amid the tiresomely inevitable torrent of media attention her book To Hell With All That has gotten is a sharp-eyed observation by LA Weekly of telltale changes between the galley and the finished book:

Between galley and bound copy, the introduction to Flanagan’s book has softened its brickbats against the women’s movement a touch. Gone are the giveaway phrase “feminist agenda” (replaced with “the new prescription for female unhappiness”) and the laundry list of what most in the women’s movement would now consider old-hat demands, like “Caring for the emotional and physical needs of a husband constitutes subservience.”

This is the bread-and-butter work of textual scholarship, of course, but it's not often that you see a reviewer tracking down the discrepencies between review galley and bound book. As a record of cold feet and second thoughts, it's pretty interesting stuff.

Of course, as an author, I'd be galled if someone actually called me out on the last-minute compromises and changes in my own works. But the lit critic in me can't help but tip a hat to the LA Weekly's reviewer.

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