Sunday, 6 July 2014

Photos: "Red" by W. Somerset Maugham (Asia, April 1921)

For the benefit of die-hard Maugham fans, if there are any, I post here some photos from the first appearance in magazine form (Asia, April 1921, pp. 301-306, 369-372) of his short story "Red". It makes for an interesting comparison with the "definitive" version in book form in the collection The Trembling of a Leaf, first published by George H. Doran some half a year later. On the whole, save several substantial passages or even complete paragraphs omitted in the magazine, the differences are rather subtle. For my part, the most interesting change is the punctuation: the magazine version contains noticeably more commas. Generally in his writings, though he was quite fond of the semicolon, Maugham used the comma sparingly, couting on his readers to find the rhythm by themselves. (Open in a new window for full size.)






3 comments:

  1. Thanks a ton! I like "Red" very much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Would you like me to send you my "variorum edition"? It's very primitive, I'm afraid. I tried to combine endnotes and colour codes to illustrate the differences between both versions, but the final result is more confusing than illuminating. At least you can see what was cut, or not yet written, in the magazine version.

      Delete
    2. Yes, I'd certainly like that. Thanks a lot!

      Delete