December 12, 2009

"On page 12, where Scrooge takes Marley’s ghost to be evidence not of the supernatural, but of his own indigestion, ('more of gravy than of grave,')..."

"... he converts the offending bit of food from being a 'spot of mustard' to a less digestible 'blot of mustard.'"


That's an example of an interesting edit, found in the manuscript of "A Christmas Carol." The NYT has made the entire manuscript available in high resolution, and there's an invitation to compete to find the other interesting edits. You're supposed to put your contest entries in the comments section over there, and I waded through a lot of reader scribblings without finding any legitimate attempts at finding an interesting edit. There are innumerable musings on the character of Scrooge, and I'm seeing a few people quoting inserted passages they like. I guess actually poring over the manuscript and finding another "blot" for "spot" is just too taxing.

12 comments:

Kirby Olson said...

It would be nice if Scrooge got to also see what happened to his ex-fiancee. I hope she's happier than he turned out to be. I'm looking forward to going through the manuscript to see what else he cut or altered.

Bissage said...

(1) The key to understanding “The Godfather” is to understand that Don Corleone took everything personally. A lot of people who didn’t read the (pretty crappy) book get that wrong.

(2) The key to understanding “A Christmas Carol” is to understand that both Jacob Marley and Ebenezer Scrooge were not evil but merely “good men of business.” That gets obscured in all the movie versions I’ve seen. Actors generally prefer to live in the moment, after all.

(3) I expect no better from Jim Carrey, who I can’t stand.

(4) I apologize for (1), (2) and (3) which have nothing to do with poring over the manuscript, an endeavour I should think too taxing.

(5) There is no number five.

traditionalguy said...

If Dickens were alive today he would be a Blogger. That man could flat write a lot of good words. He could do a Law Blog as well, from Bleak House.

ខ្មែរ ​​​​worldnews, sport , khmerlidership, said...

Hello great site, could you exchange my link?
Here is my site
http://sompost.com/
I hope you could do and please let me know if you could do

THanks you
Warmest hug
sompost

edutcher said...

Where was this 50 years ago? My Aunt Mary was a great Dickens fan and read "A Christmas Carol" every year; since she was very hard of hearing (born 1896, mastoids as a child), reading was her only pleasure.

She would have loved something like this.

Me, I'm waiting for the part about the Money Bin ;)

WV "telining" What you always want to be silver.

reader_iam said...

I don't think the navigation tools are all that conducive to non-annoying, close perusal. For example, if I go to full screen and zoom way in (necessary because my eyes are really going fast--too many years of close perusual of print, I guess), I can't scroll or even page down, it seems. I'd have to print the whole thing out, and I'm not sure that'd reproduce too well.

All of which is fine and good, because this is EXACTLY the sort of project I could get obsessed with for hours upon hours, even days, and were I to get caught up in such an undertaking right now, my family might, at best, disown me.

vexers: That feeling you get when offered an opportunity 10-15 years too late.

kynefski said...

It's a wonderful resource, but not easy to use. I looked right away at Scrooge's revelation, the paragraph on the top of page 55 of the manuscript beginning, "Oh cold, cold, rigid, dreadful Death,..." Not suprisingly, the paragraph appears heavily edited, but I found it impossible to see what had been there previously.

Kirby Olson said...

It turns out that pp. 26-28 do talk extensively about what happens to his ex-fiancee (she's married with dozens of children, and she's fat and happy and somewhat vengefully joyful that Scrooge turned out to be such a putz).

I haven't read the book since 7th grade. I think I might read it again. I just find Dickens to be a tad painfully sentimental at points.

I don't like his idea of how people can be so saintly, like at the end of the Tale of Two Cities. It's icky.

I caught him jacking up the sentiment in a lot of his edits.

I think that's more acceptable in the 19th century to have that syrupy notion of what people can do, or something, but in some of John Irving's tales he does something like that. A Prayer for Owen Meany is fairly treacly. The movie is even more so.

That emotional chord is rarely played today, but it's still a popular one, I suppose.

mavzoley said...

мультфильм
электронная почта без регистрации

Robert said...

I do not understand why Scrooge says "Excuse me - I don't know that" in the following passage (at the end):

"I help to support the establishments I have mentioned: they cost enough: and those who are badly off must go there.''

``Many can't go there; and many would rather die.''

``If they would rather die,'' said Scrooge, ``they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population. Besides -- excuse me -- I don't know that.''

Do y'all think that he felt he had gone too far, said too much, or that there was literally something he didn't know? And, in the case of the latter, what was it he didn't know?

I just can't get this clear in my mind. Any help would be appreciated!

Thanks!

Bob H.

Robert said...

I help to support the establishments I have mentioned: they cost enough: and those who are badly off must go there.''

``Many can't go there; and many would rather die.''

``If they would rather die,'' said Scrooge, ``they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population. Besides -- excuse me -- I don't know that.''

Robert said...

Why does Scrooge say "Excuse me - I don't know that" in reference to diminishing the surplus population?

Does he feel he has gone too far, been too forceful... or is there something he literally doesn't know?

I don't get it...!

- Bob