Altering books (was RE: Silly Censorship)

Philip.Belben at eme.co.uk Philip.Belben at eme.co.uk
Wed May 14 12:31:11 EDT 2003





This is another pretty old thread, but I am quite interested in this.

Minnow, quoting Rowena:

>>In a similar vein does anyone know if it was the publishers or DWJ herself
>>who suggested the cuts in reissues of Cart & Cwidder?
>>This is a slightly different case, as the cuts are plot
>>details/background, rather than of 'suggestive' material.
>
> This is an interesting little history I do happen to know.  She didn't just
> suggest those cuts, she insisted on them in order to put the book back the
> way it was when she wrote it.
>
> When C&C first came out DWJ didn't have much clout with the publishers, and
> she had a particularly bossy editor who insisted on having a finger in
> every pie and changing things in every book the imprint published.  (A bit
> the way Robert Heinlein describes an editor as doing with his children's
> books).  This editor required DWJ to add a whole lot of stuff that hadn't
> been there and which DWJ felt was not in the least needed for the book to
> work.

That certainly explains the major cuts, although I'm sticking with my first
edition (I like some of the extra background material!) but it doesn't explain
one minor thing.

Why in the later editions have all references to the kingstone been expunged
from C&C?  It's only three words here, half a setence there...

I could understand it if DWJ had omitted the kingstone altogether from CoD, but
she didn't - although it's not a major part of the story, it is mentioned in the
ending.  Rather puzzling, I imagine, if you've only read the new editions of
C&C, and never heard of the thing!

Can you throw some more light on this?

Philip.

PS DWJ was probably right about the major cuts.  I had read both versions
several times, and not noticed the major cuts at all until Rowena did her
critical comparison.  So the book does work without the extra stuff.  But the
missing kingstone stood out like a sore thumb!







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