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145 FORD'S MANUSCRIPT REVISIONS OF THE GOOD SOLDIER by Charles G. Hoffmann (University of Rhode Island) There are extant two complete manuscript versions of THE GOOD SOLDIER, hereafter referred to as Manuscripts A and C, and an incomplete version of Part One, hereafter referred to as Manuscript B,' Both complete manuscript versions are close to the published text not only in relation to the general outlines of the novel but also in specific details. Nonetheless, there are revisions and variations from the text in both manuscripts which are significant for what they reveal about the novel itself and about Ford's method of writing* As Frank MacShane has shown in his article on Ford's manuscript revisions, Ford was a conscious craftsman who "not only preached careful writing but practiced it in his own work."2 It is necessary, however, before going into the details of Ford's manuscript revisions, to clarify the status of Manuscript B in relation to Ford's contribution, "The Saddest Story," to the June 20, 1914 issue of BLAST. David Dow Harvey in his invaluable bibliography of Ford's works states that "none [of the three manuscript versions] is so early as the Jun, 20, 1914 contribution to BLAST, , ,"3 However, a comparison of Manuscripts A and B with "The Saddest Story" leads me to the conclusion that Manuscript B is merely a typed version of the corresponding part of Manuscript A, which was then sent to BLAST, rather than an intermediate version of the novel. Both Manuscript B and "The Saddest Story" end at exactly the same point in the middle of a paragraph a third of the way through Chapter IV, Part One of the novel and both have added to them the same postscript at the end, "To be continued," Furthermore, Manuscript B incorporates very nearly all of the additions made in Manuscript A, and none of the passages cancelled in A appears rn B. These additions and cancellations will be discussed later for their textual significance, but at this point it is sufficient to say that the overwhelming evidence of these changes must lead one to the conclusion that the corresponding portion of Manuscript A antedates the BLAST contribution. There are¿ however, a few differences between Manuscript A and B and between Manuscript B and the published text as it appeared in BLAST. For example, the first sentence of the published novel —"Th i s is the saddest story I have ever heard"—which appears in ail three manuscript versions as á paragraph by itself, is omitted in the BLAST story, It would be reasonable to assume that the omission of the sentence was an editorial change becaus«: the title, "The Saddest Story," made the statement repetitious, Similarly, two minor differences probably were editorial changes. In SLAST no Roman numeral divides Chapter Three from Chapter Four as it does in all the manuscript versions and in the published novel; however, since only a third of Chapter Four is included in BLAST, apparently the editor decided that a fourth division, coming on'y a page and a half before the end of the story, would be superfluous, "Avanti" (which appears at the very end of Chapter Three, Part One of the novel) is correctly spelled in BLAST but is misspelled as "Avati" in Manuscript B, It is correctly spelled in the holograph portion of Manuscript A, and one can reasonably conclude that the typist made the error in transcribing, an error which the editor caughtA 146 Thus practically all of the differences of "The Saddest Story" from the corresponding part of THE GOOD SOLDIERY can be explained as changes Ford subsequently made and incorporated into Manuscript C or as editorial changes. Since there are no revisions, either additions or cancellations in Manuscript B, it can be considered a typescript version of the corresponding holograph portion of Manuscript A, in preparation for the BLAST issue, incorporating the changes Ford made in the revision of Manuscript A but containing the minor variations noted above.6 The most numerous revisions in Manuscript A are minor changes—a word, a phrase, a sentence added or cancelled, Though minor in themselves, these changes in total effect contribute...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 145-152
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Archived
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