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Does the Editor Know Better? The Editorial Vicissitudes of the 20th Century Polish writers


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The main purpose of this article is to consider the question: Do authors always decide on the final form of their works? To explore the answer, this essay describes relations between authors and editors in chief. To this end, the essay provides some examples of the various forms this activity can take, and reflects on what we can learn about a text’s creation after the author regards it as finished. The examples will be derived from the manuscripts of the Polish author Leopold Tyrmand. His literary output was studied by many scholars. So far, however, such analyses of his works were mainly of a literary nature — and only examined rarely from a philological point of view. Nevertheless, it would not be fair to blame the scholars for this lacuna: surely many of them would consider such an inquiry if they did not lack the proper source materials. As a result, in the research of Tyrmand’s literary output practically no examination of Tyrmand’s creative process, no closer examination of the subsequent phases of the formation of text, and no compilation of its various variants or attribution problems has existed until now.

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