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Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Hilaritas Press and revising RAW's words

Agatha Christie (Creative Commons photo, source.)

Many of you have probably been following the news stories about works by Agatha Christie, Roald Dahl, Ursula K. LeGuin and Ian Fleming being revised  to bring them in tune with modern sensibilities.

"Imagine a world in which publishers would pay a contemporary writer/critic to write an incisive intro that would consider the context in which specific books were written rather than changing the language," writes Maris Kreizman, an author and podcaster, on Twitter.

As far as I can tell, this is exactly the policy that Rasa follows at Hilaritas Press. Some of Robert Anton Wilson's books are decades old, and given the swift changes in mores, some of RAW's words have not aged well (e.g., referring to a woman as "frigid," using LSD to help homosexuals, etc.) Hilaritas has coped with this by commissioning pieces from various folks, which put RAW's words in context and which also add value for people considering buying the new edition. I don't speak for Rasa of course, but I'm pretty sure his policy has been to only correct obvious typos and mistakes but not to make substantive changes.

1 comment:

Rasa said...

Yes, we have the philosophy that his published works were the way he wanted them. We mostly correct obvious typos, and when there is some doubt, the passage in question is run by the RAW Trust Advisors who usually figure out if the seeming "error" is in fact an error we can correct, or was some kind of Joycean or RAWian use of language that was intended.