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An End of All Explanations: Visualizing and Interpreting Lewis’s Revisions to Part IV, Chapter 9 of Tarr

In my last post, I described a working hypothesis about Wyndham Lewis’s revisions to Tarr: that in producing the 1928 version, he was principally interested in adding voices to the earlier 1918 version, particularly through the addition of FID.

I decided to test this hypothesis by looking at one of the more disturbing chapters in Tarr. Chapter 9 (Chapter 8 in the 1918) of Part IV begins in Kreisler’s apartment following the rape of Bertha. It begins by narrating the aftermath of the rape, and as the chapter progresses it narrates retrospectively the rape itself. Already in the 1918 edition, this chapter is told primarily from Bertha’s perspective. But I was interested to see if the 1928 gave more of her perspective—particularly to see whether Lewis increased his use of FID to render her thoughts. Read more

Versioning Tarr: First Results

The first results are now in for my work on versioning Tarr. And they’re fascinating.

I decided to begin by looking at a scene about versions, and indeed filled with the word “version.” It occurs near the middle of the novel (Part IV, Chapter 5 in the 1928 edition) and at a key moment. Bertha—her fiancé Tarr having somewhat equivocally broken up with her—is out for an evening with her friends when she is accosted in the street by the unstable Kreisler, who suddenly kisses her. Read more