Course Description:

This course will analyze a wide range of issues related to publication in general by focusing on posthumous publication in particular. Often extremely heated controversies over posthumously published or never published writings throw into relief uncritically held assumptions about authorship and the book that constitute the default (partly for legal and economic reasons) of book publication tout court. We will begin with thecase of Franz Kafka and proceed to Percy Bysshe Shelley's posthumously published "The Triumph of Life"; John Keats' poem written on a page from King Lear; Thomas Bernhard's Correction (a deeply ironic novel about a character who edits the manuscript of a dead friend to prepare it for publication); Vladimir Nabokov's The Original of Laura, a novel by Nabokov wrote on index cards, all of which are reproduced in the novel and edited by his son Dimitri; Soren Kierkegaard's pseudonymously written, Either / Or, supposedly a manuscript (within a manuscript) found in a hidden desk drawer; Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe; Wilkie Collin's The Moonstone; Sigmund Freud, "Jensen's Gradiva"; Jacques Derrida, Archive Fever; and George Perrec, 53 Days. We will aso read a few articles devoted to largely contemporary controversies on textual editing such as the Stieg Larsen and David Foster Wallace cases.



Keatspeare (unpublished poem in his pocket edition of Shakespeare--see Randall McCleod's "Un" Editing essay) and The Book of Kells (never finished). The new edition of Frankenstein that severs the book into two parts. with De Palma's Sisters.

"Le Clerc published his Parrhastana, or mock table talk, himself (the usual practice was to die and leave the agreeably scandalous task to a disciple), and in it he analyzed both the scholarly function and the literary form of the footnote."

--Anthony Grafton, The Footnote: A Curious History (Harvard UP, 1997), 215-16.

Paul Celan, et al The Meridian: Final Version-Drafts-Materials (Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics)

Kierkegaard's Notebooks (pdf).

Walter Benjamin's Archive: Images, Texts, Signs

Walter Benjamin (Author), Ursula Marx (Editor), Gudrun Schwarz (Editor), Michael Schwarz (Editor), Erdmut Wizisla (Editor), Esther Leslie (Translator)

Perhaps add Coetzee's Disgrace

Amerika: The Missing Person

Shakespeare's Sonnets (the 1977 edition edited by Stephen Booth, with a preface that constructs a hybrid reader located in 1607 and 1977 and facing page 1607 and 1977 [modernized] editions of each Sonnet)