The projected edition of Ford's work was one modernist case study featured at this intensive and brilliantly collegial day conference organised by Tara Thomson. By way of keynotes, panels and a roundtable discussion delegates engaged with modernist editing projects already under way (Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, Dorothy Richardson and Wyndham Lewis) or, like Ford, in development (May Sinclair).
We were treated to a range of provocative papers on the challenges and opportunities of large-scale editorial projects, and an illuminating collection of approaches to the central questions: who and what are these projects for and how do we best realise the aims that are driving them?
Discussion points from the final roundtable on Ford, Woolf and Eliot included:
How do we strike the right balance between editorial duty to the author and the reader?
What, if anything, might happen to our rules of engagement if we focused more on the idea of 'editing modernism' and less on 'modernist editing'?
How do we decide which editions produced during, and then after, an author's lifetime are 'significant'?
Fordian ellipsis, and the spaces Woolf left between sentences in her MSS, emerged as good examples of the challenges facing those editing modernism as well as modernist texts.
Thanks Tara for the invitation to contribute to this collectively energising event!
Nathan Waddell delivered the morning keynote, on editing Wyndham Lewis. His blog on the conference is here: https://drnjwaddell.wordpress.com/2016/05/15/modernism-edited/