We headed to The British Library today to look at the original Tristram Shandy editions. And see the real deal.
The volumes were all published separately, and we got to look through the first few editions of each of the nine volumes. It felt weird handling the originals: some of them were literally crumbling, others were in pretty good condition.
But the thing that struck us more than anything else was that trying to make sense of the editions (what was published when, in what order) was incredibly confusing. And suddenly, any sense of our own need to be precise or perfect about our own edition, started to wash away. It seemed less about “getting it right” and more about getting this book out there again in a way that will make people excited about it again. And when we say people, we don’t just mean the Shandy academics.
Much food for thought. Need to feed all this thinking back to Emma and Kirsty of APFEL tomorrow.