_MG_7514 visual-editions

Visual Editions published a version of Tristram Shandy with more interesting text. Many call Laurence Sterne’s novel — the first experimental novel. Visual Editions’ web site has better images of their work, but much of my focus on this novel. I just want to say a few things about the publisher.

The text is more interesting than the cover, so don’t judge by this image. Many older works need some polish, so I like the concept of Visual Editions. I’m not sure how well their work translates to ereaders. Textual presentation is an art form and can add value to a book. An earlier post praised the appearance of Peter Mathiessen’s Far Tortuga because I enjoy interesting visuals. I just don’t know if what works on paper will work on the average ereader, with a six-inch screen.

I had a visual for this present chapter, I have in rewrite, but my failed experiment in typesetting has convince me to go with a safer idea. Now to my thoughts on Tristram Shandy.

Dostoevsky‘s Notes from Underground and Tristram Shandy are very similar in style. Virginia Woof’s Orlando, also  shares a few traits. I can’t say my allusions to Tristram Shandy will survive my cuts, but I have alluded to Sterne’s work in my present edition. Sterne’s novel span’s across the long lifespan of the title character. Woolf’s Orlando triples this lifespan. I use a different method to travel time, but did consider using their method.

Sterne uses bawdy humor, as do I. When you write about a fertility cult, like I do, it just comes out. Sterne uses chaotic chronology, but I prefer to keep mine more orderly to enhance the readability. Experimental literature is always a gamble; Sterne has critics in his day and in ours. The bawdy nature pushes away the prudish, but probably helps in a popularity contest.

One last thing, two women created Visual editions. My opinions on Feminism (on this blog), does not reflect my views on talented women. I can’t say their artistry will bring financial success because I’m not sure what works in this era. Writers, agents, and publishers are all having to adapt to new technologies. Will Google Glass turn reader friendly, in the near future? I sure don’t know.Hypertext to link videos, artwork, and references to my allusions would greatly help me and I suspect there are advertising opportunities available in this hypertext methodology. Will hypertext gain ground, as technology grows.

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