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Moby Dick and the Fluid Text: Censorship and the Measurement of Culture.

Bryant, John L. (2002) Moby Dick and the Fluid Text: Censorship and the Measurement of Culture. In: 23rd Distinguished Faculty Lecture, 9 Oct 2002, Hofstra University.

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Abstract

Delivered as the 23rd Distinguished Faculty Lecture on October 9,2002, this paper presents the concept of the fluid text, particularly as it relates to two examples of Herman Melville's work. A fluid text is one that exists in multiple versions due to revisions by the author, a set of editors, adaptors or a combination of the three. These texts can give us remarkable insight into the way writers write, readers read and cultures alter texts. Studying Melville's fluid texts, Professor Bryant argues, gives us a deeper understanding of the historicity of any text and an ability to measure the "textual space" that exists between any two versions of a fluid text. This, in turn, enables us to measure culture itself in sharper, more meaningful ways. The study of fluid texts also prepares us to comprehend the necessary revision of our understanding of a culture that continues today.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords:fluid texts, Moby Dick, Melville
Subjects:P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
P Language and Literature > PS American literature
ID Code:14
Deposited By:Admin HofPrints
Deposited On:03 January 2006

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