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81 REVIEWS 1. A Critical Edition of Moore's Confessions Confessions of a Young Man by George Moore, edited by Susan Dick. Montreal and Londons McGiIl-Queen·s University Press, 1972. $16.50· George Moore spent much of his literary life attempting to perfect his craft, and his quasi-autobiographical Confessions of a Young Man is an almost ideal example of his continued habit of revising and rewriting. From its first appearance in I887 as a five-part serial in the English magazine Time until its final form in the 1923 Carra Edition the text was revised no less than eight times. As a matter of fact, Moore seems to have continued the process even after this, for recently a scholar has unearthed in the University of Illinois library a copy of the I926 edition which has further corrections in Moore's hand that have never appeared in any published edition. It is unlikely that at this late date anyone will ever know, with any degree of certainty, if these corrections were inadvertently not used when the text was published in the Uniform Edition shortly after Moore's death, or if he became dissatisfied with them and decreed they should be discarded. It is Miss Dick's Introduction and especially her twenty-five pages of Critical Notes that makes this edition of special value to students , as she carefully annotates many passages and identifies references to places, persons and the writings of other authors, as well as filling in the factual background gleaned from her extensive research, contrasting it with the nearly always fanciful accounts given by Moore. She explains in her Preface that she came to the book as a new experience, and as a result she seems to have been able to view it with a critical eye not slanted by any preconceived ideas. The critical notes in this edition, along with the twenty-two-page Introduction, give the most complete study to date of Confessions of a. Young Man, enabling even the casual reader, as well as the student, to have a greater understanding of a book which is not only a landmark in the development of an author who is slowly coming into proper critical attention, but is also a document of considerable interest for the light it sheds on an important literary and artistic era. Miss Dick, in her Introduction, has also related the book to Moore's other writings and to 'his development as one of the most interesting and in some respects controversial authors of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Miss Dick uses as her basic text that of the first edition with symbols at the appropriate places to indicate deletions, additions and other changes made in later editions, giving in the Variorum Notes the exact editions in which the changes were made as well as the altered passages as they appear in the final text. Also reprinted are the Prefaces of the I889, 1904 and I9I7 editions, but 82 unfortunately no critical notes are provided for these. The Variorum Notes place it in a niche beside Lionel Stevenson's edition of Esther Waters (Riverside Editions, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, I963), In which he used as his primary text the edition Moore revised shortly after its original publication and included in the Appendix variant readings from the first and final editions. Students wishing to trace more thoroughly the revisions from the book's original appearance in Time through the first edition, a French periodical, a revised French translation, the revised and expanded edition of I889 and the subsequent revised editions of I904, I917, I9I8 and I923 are referred by Miss Dick to her variorum edition presented as her doctoral dissertation in I967 at Northwestern University. The book seems remarkably free of typographical errors and for the most part Miss Dick's notes appear accurate, although some might have been expanded. For instance, note 36 on page I3 should mention that the edition of Evelyn Innes referred to is actually the second edition, published three months after the first edition in an identical binding and format and without any indication that the text has been revised. A slight error also appears in the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 81-82
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Will Be Archived 2021
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