Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Morning Reading: A Christmas Carol

Today's New York Times reports that the Morgan Library in Manhattan has, once again, in time for the holiday season, put on display a page from Charles Dickens's heavily edited manuscript of A Christmas Carol.

In her article, "A Christmas Rewrite, as Dickens Edits Dickens," Alison Leigh Cowan, reviews the history of the story - and concludes with this intriguing offer from the library:

Readers of On the Records are invited to click here to examine the high-resolution images and submit what they think is the most interesting edit in the work, either a deletion or an addition, or here to view the entire 66 pages. Declan Kiely, the curator who heads the library’s department of literary and historical manuscripts, will review the submissions and pick the one he finds most intriguing. That reader will be invited as my guest to afternoon tea at the Morgan. (The winner is responsible for getting to and from the Morgan at his or her own expense. This offer is void where prohibited by law, and other restrictions may apply.)

Please file your submissions in the comment section below no later than 5 p.m. E.S.T. on Dec. 16 and include the page numbers for any textual changes you unearth. The winner will be announced no later than Christmas Eve. Our apologies for a few lost words on the left-most bound side of the reproductions, which printers call the “gutter” of a book. It was the best that could be done without taking apart the book. Typewritten copy of the final text, which accompanies each page, should be helpful in deciphering what is missing.

To get started - or just to read and see how Dickens's writing mind worked, click here.

(Photograph by Angel Franco for the New York Times.)

1 comment:

Lou said...

Thanks for this link to a fascinating read.

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