CWEWh welcomes Paul Ohler as a new Associate Editor. He joins Carol Singley (General Editor) and Associate Editors Frederick Wegener and Donna Campbell.
Professor Ohler is the editor for Volume 2: Short Stories I: 1891-1903
Paul Ohler teaches in the Department of English at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. He is the author of Edith Wharton’s Evolutionary Conception: Darwinian Allegory in Her Major Novels (Routledge). His work has appeared in The Edith Wharton Review, English Studies in Canada, and America’s Darwin: Darwinian Theory and U.S. Literary Culture(U of Georgia Press). His most recent publications include an essay in The New Wharton Studies (Cambridge UP), an article on Wharton’s short stories in Studies in American Naturalism, and an essay in The Bloomsbury Handbook to Edith Wharton. He has given numerous talks on Wharton’s fiction at the American Literature Association Conference, the Modern Language Association convention, and other conferences, and he is a past editor of the Edith Wharton Review.
A cosmopolitan author who spent nearly a decade in Europe and was versed in the works of his British and French contemporaries, James Fenimore Cooper was also deeply concerned with the America of his day and its history. His works embrace themes that have dominated American literature since: the frontier; the oppression of Native Americans by Europeans; questions of race, gender, and class; and rugged individualism, as represented by figures like the pirate, the spy, the hunter, and the settler. His most memorable character, Natty Bumppo, has entered into American popular culture.
The essays in this volume offer students bridges to Cooper’s novels, which grapple with complex moral issues that are still crucial today. Engaging with film adaptations, cross-culturalism, animal studies, media history, environmentalism, and Indigenous American poetics, the essays offer new ways to bring these novels to life in the classroom.
I thought it might interest some members of the Edith Wharton Society to know that the spring issue (n° 177) of the influential French review, Commentaire, has just published “L’Amérique en guerre” with a short introduction by Jean-Claude Casanova who read the translation in the February 2018 issue of the TLS and then found the original text in the March 1918 issue of the Revue Hebdomadaire. French admirers of Wharton (of which there are many) will now be able to acquaint themselves with another aspect of the talent of the “grande romancière, poétesse et essayiste américaine.”
The Complete Works of Edith Wharton welcomes Stephen Arch as the editor of Volume 3: Short Stories II: 1904-1914.
Stephen Arch is the author of two books: Authorizing the Past: The Rhetoric of History in Seventeenth-Century New England and After Franklin: The Emergence of Autobiography in Post-Revolutionary America, 1780–1830. His scholarly articles have appeared in Early American Literature, Studies in American Fiction, The William and Mary Quarterly, and elsewhere. In 2015, he published a critical textual edition of James Fenimore Cooper’s 1838 novel, Homeward Bound (New York: AMS Press). He will published a second critical edition of a Cooper novel, Home as Found, in 2021. He serves as Associate Lead Editor of The Writings of James Fenimore Cooper.
Arch’s current research interests include gothic literature, scholarly editing, and the literature of sports. He is co-editing a collection of essays on teaching Cooper’s novels (for the Modern Language Association), and will soon begin editing Edith Wharton’s short stories for the Oxford edition of the complete works of Edith Wharton. He served as Department chair from 2007-2012, and as associate chair from 1998-2003 and in 2006. He was a Fulbright scholar in the Netherlands in 1996.
The Complete Works of Edith Wharton welcomes Francis Morrone as editor of Volume 6, Writings on Architecture, Design, and Gardens
Francis Morrone is an architectural historian and the author of eleven books including Guide to New York City Urban Landscapes (W.W. Norton, 2013); The New York Public Library: The Architecture and Decoration of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (with Henry Hope Reed, W.W. Norton, 2011); and architectural guidebooks to Philadelphia and Brooklyn. As a historic preservation consultant he has written countless building histories and neighborhood surveys in New York and beyond. He worked as an art and architecture critic for the New York Sun. Collectively, his work represents one of the most comprehensive bodies of research on the built history of New York City. He has taught at NYUSPS for nineteen years, and is the recipient of the SPS Excellence in Teaching Award.
The Complete Works of Edith Wharton Welcomes Mischa Renfroe as the editor of Volume 13: The Reef
Alicia Mischa Renfroe is professor of English at Middle Tennessee State University where she teaches courses on law and literature and American literature. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee and her J.D. from the University of Florida, and most of her research draws on this interdisciplinary background. Recent publications include “Edith Wharton and Law” in Critical Insights:Edith Wharton in Context, “Edith Wharton Online: Reimagining the Graduate Seminar” in Teaching Edith Wharton’s Major Novels, “Social Protest Fiction” in The Blackwell Companion to American Literature1820-1914, and “The Specter and the Spectator: Rebecca Harding Davis’s ‘The Second Life’ and the Naturalist Gothic” in Haunting Realities. She also edited Davis’s novel Law Unto Herself (1878) for the University of Nebraska Press’s Legacies of Nineteenth-Century American Writers series and has published on Louisa May Alcott, Ernest Hemingway, Upton Sinclair, and Jack London. She is site director of Rebecca Harding Davis Collected Works Digital Archive, editor of the Davis Society’s newsletter, co-director of Constance Fenimore Woolson Fest, co-editor of a special issue of Women’s Studies devoted to Davis, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Louisa May Alcott Society.
Here’s a brief cross-post about editing devices from the Complete Works of Edith Wharton editors’ site.
Volume Editors have many methods of comparing texts, some of which are text based (relying on typed text) and some of which are image based (relying on photographs or physical volumes). If you have other resources, please feel free to add them here. See also the works in the bibliography for the Editorial Guidelines and the brief guide to editions, printings, and states here: https://www.abaa.org/blog/post/first-state-notes
Different methods, text-based or image-based, will work better depending on what you’re comparing.
EDITIONS, which will usually be set from different plates and have different typefaces and page numbers (e.g., Scribner’s first edition, Macmillan [British] first edition, and so on), can’t be compared with image-based technology because of the the differences in typefaces and pagination. What’s on page 31 of the Scribner’s first edition of The House of Mirth will not be similar enough to what’s on page 31 of the Macmillan edition to make a comparison of individual words and letters possible, for the words will not be on the same lines. EDITIONS will need to be typed so that the text can be compared using Juxta or another text-based method.
2. PRINTINGS, which will be printed from the same plate as the first edition with the same typeface and page numbers, will differ little in appearance. The same material will be found on p. 3 of the Scribner’s edition, first printing and the Scribner’s edition, 5th printing, and the words will appear on the same line. PRINTINGS can be compared using image-based comparison methods like the Hinman or other image-based technologies.
The image on the left is from page 31 of the first Scribner’s edition of The House of Mirth; the second image is from page 31 of the Macmillan (British) first edition.
The House of Mirth, Scribner’s first edition
The House of Mirth, Macmillan first edition
Text-based comparisons let you look at the differences between two typed documents. Most of us are already used to doing this in Word, but Juxta Commons is useful for more complex comparisons.
Text-based methods are useful when you are comparing different EDITIONS of a book.
Juxta Commons. http://juxtacommons.org/ This easy-to-use and free software can compare two screens of text at once and can identify the differences by highlighting them. Juxta looks like this:
To get typed text to compare, you might try these:
Typing the volume into a text editor (like Notepad or Text Wrangler) or into Word.
Using a typed version or the raw OCR (Optical Character Recognition) version found online that you proofread carefully against the copy-text volume (usually the first American edition). When raw OCR text comes out of the scanner, you’ll see that it is kind of a mess. There are odd characters, like ! instead of 1, m instead of rr, and even worse. You can see a little of this if you try to convert a .pdf document back into text using Google Docs. Whenever scanned text is used, it has to be carefully proofread.You may see references to “cleaning” the raw OCR text. “Cleaning” is just a term from data processing; it means to correct the data (in this case the text) according to the scanned material so that it makes sense.
Adobe Acrobat Pro can turn .pdf files into text, but the text it creates must be carefully proofread.
Google Docs is supposed to be able to turn .pdf files into text, but the text it creates must be carefully proofread.
Scanning the copy-text volume with a specialty software such as ABBYY Finereader https://www.abbyy.com/en-us/finereader/ This text must also be carefully proofread but is supposed to have fewer errors than other scanning to OCR (Optical Character Recognition) kinds of programs.
If you have taken pictures of several printings of the volume you’ll be editing, image-based or digital comparison software will be helpful.
Traherne Digital Collator, a free comparison and collation software. The Traherne Digital Collator compares two page images so that you can see differences between, say, the first and second printing of a volume.
In the screenshots below, the top image compares the first edition of The House of Mirth, from a copy in the Lilly Library, with a copy of the first edition in the Beinecke Library. Note the broken character on the running title (HOUSE), which is illuminated by a red color instead of purple in the second image.
2. Pocket Hinman. The Pocket Hinman is a free experimental app developed for James Ascher and DeVan Ard. It’s available for iPhone and Android through the App store and here: https://rossharding.me/#/pockethinman/
The Pocket Hinman allows you to compare visually a volume that you’re looking at with a previous picture of a volume. Differences will stand out by flickering slightly.
Mechanical Comparators and Collators
If you live near a research library or are visiting one, you can use these older devices to compare physical volumes of the text: the two major kinds are the Hinman Collator and the Lindstrand Comparator.
Hinman Collator. Developed by Charlton Hinman from WWII bomb target technologies that compared two images and found slight differences by flickering images and used in creating comparative versions of the First Folio, the Hinman Collator can find small differences that indicate changes from one printing to the next.
Here’s article from the Folger Library that describes the Hinman in more detail:
Here’s a demonstration of the Hinman Collator in action, with text by James P. Ascher, who developed the Pocket Hinman:
The following article from 2002 that gives all the then-locations of Hinman Collators, Lindstrand Comparators, and other mechanical editing devices. Each of the major Edith Wharton archives has a Hinman or Lindstrand machine available.
“Armadillos of Invention”: A Census of Mechanical Collators
Author(s): Steven Escar Smith Source: Studies in Bibliography, Vol. 55 (2002), pp. 133-170 Published by: Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia