Friday 2 October 2009

News: Late Writing

Coming soon: a host of new works by dead writers, nearly all of them vital figures in the development of American literature - Vladimir Nabokov, William Styron, Kurt Vonnegut, Ralph Ellison and David Foster Wallace. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Alexandra Alter examines this new trend. She also speaks to the venerable Robert Hirst, general editor of the Mark Twain Papers, who defends the publication of such fragmentary, unfinished or fugitive works:
"You can learn a lot about how he thought and wrote that you can't learn from reading an edition of Huckleberry Finn," Mr. Hirst said. "I don't think anything we publish can damage his reputation."
So are you looking forward to the emergence of these texts? Or should they stay in the archives?

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