Friday, August 3

Before I go to bed, the end of the world as we know it.

OMG. Some publisher is producing ABRIDGED versions of DICKENS, THACKERAY AND GEORGE ELIOT!?!? the first series of Compact Editions Anna Karenina, Moby-Dick along with David Copperfield, The Mill on the Floss, Vanity Fair and Wives and Daughters will be 'sympathetically edited' down to fewer than 400 pages.

WTF? I mean, Eisenhower always said if you can't say it in a page don't say it and I always said if you can't say it in 475 pages don't say it. Especially if you're saying it in a nineteenth century novel, for Crispy Kreme sakes.

But I gotta say while I love me some George Eliot, Mill on the Floss needs some serious editing. It's like she got tired all of a sudden and spent the last fifty pages saying "and then everyone died in a flood the end." Hey don't listen to me the Guardian Unlimited lit blog says the same damn thing:

The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot is a case in point. While the first two thirds of the book is a wonderful, if leisurely, evocation of a small English market town at the beginning of the nineteenth century, the last part is a rushed, breathless, melodramatic affair with an entirely unlikely tying up of plotlines.

In other words, everyone dies in a flood the end.

Give that one the Eisenhower treatment.

Eisenhower in his days as President (not of the George Eliot Fan Club).


  1. As I understand it, both Dickens and Dostoyevsky were paid by the word. Dostoyevsky created powerful, beautiful prose that way, whereas Dickens gave us

    "The raw afternoon is rawest, and the dense fog is densest, and the muddy streets are muddiest near that leaden-headed old obstruction, appropriate ornament for the threshold of a leaden-headed old corporation, Temple Bar. And hard by Temple Bar, in Lincoln’s Inn Hall, at the very heart of the fog, sits the Lord High Chancellor in his High Court of Chancery."

    Any editor, especially one who was aware of the payment scheme, would have blue penciled every other word of that.

    Dickens... feh.

  2. cliff notes, that's what we need.

    if i was paid by the word i could make millions the way i could ramble on worse than i do! : )

  3. To mirror the comments above, that is the reason why I absolutely loathe Victorian-era fiction. I want to get out my proverbial red pencil and cross through much of it.

    Lawyers get paid by the word as well, do they not? And you won't catch me reading legal briefs for pleasure, no sir.


I really look forward to hearing what you have to say. I do moderate comments, but non-spam comments will take less than 24 hours to appear... Thanks!