Amanda Gayle (amandagayle) wrote,
Amanda Gayle


So recently I read an article in the Washington Post about Harper Lee's new book - something previously unpublished that had just, you know, been lying around - like one of the most beloved American authors ever had been withholding it from us, the eager public, just 'cause.

[Article: "To shill a mockingbird: how a manuscript's discovery became Harper Lee's 'new' novel," Neely Tucker, 16 Feb. '15, the Washington Post]

First off, you gotta think, if something is "previously unpublished" isn't it that way for a reason maybe?

'Twas, actually - apparently, when Lee was shopping her novel around, her only novel EVER thanksverymuch, it was in a vastly different form from the "Mockingbird" we know. It's this original draft that's been published now as "Go Set A Watchman." Anyway, her editors had her rewrite and rewrite and rewrite that first draft - it took on several incarnations before they finally considered it something publishable. (Not only was it publishable, it was a masterpiece - Lee's editor knew what she was doing. Other clients included Margaret Mitchell and Steinbeck.)

I've not read "Go Set A Watchman," this first draft now published as a completely different novel (and ironically, a sequel to "Mockingbird), so I don't know if it's any good. I haven't actually even read reviews. But the fact that it's a best seller is sort of par for the century so far. So much of what is considered publishable is crap.

Yeah, you have good novels now (I think? I don't really know - are there?), and back in the day (Lee's day, I mean) there was a lot of pulp published - should we consider that on par with self-pub'd novelists nowdays? Yet, these new writers who crank out works like machines, many of them parts of multi-novel series ending in cliff hangers to get the reader to purchase the next publication -

Fuck - my head's too scattered and swimmy to keep going with this. That's what I get for trying to be coherent the morning after a migraine. I need Annie Laurie Williams and Maurice Crain pls!

Gah, if I choose to continue at some point - could the likes of Jessica Sorensen or Rachel Van Dyken actually be good with benefit of an editor? or, dare I say, Stephenie Meyer and her ilk? Also - serialists who were actually good, even though their format meant the shouldn't have been: Dickens (debatably), Dumas (well, ok...yeah), James, Melville (gack!), Collins (voluminous!) - ...Doyle? Can't have had the benefit of that much intensive editing, right? Not when they were working with those sort of deadlines.

Moving along.

Back there I used the word "ironically" (though I didn't use it ironically). I really try not to use any word rooted in "irony" - er, the actual word, not what it means. I've never properly understood the definition of "irony." I'll read it, the definition, right out of Oxford or Merriam Webster, and cannot wrap my head around it. I know I'm not as smart as people think I am, but that's kind of ridiculous, yeah?

Possibly I've never tried harder to actually get it because it's an awfully overused word so it seemed better to just avoid it altogether. Or, from what I do (very limitedly) understand, it seems an unpleasant thing to be the subject of and it's better not to know.

"...intended meaning different than actual meaning..." <--- idek, tbh. wtaf?

Ooh -
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  • 1 comment
Having not read the book
I can only reply,


Sorry, not very literate these days, LOL. (And apologies to the Simpsons.) But nice to see you back at LJ...