Robert Frost, Henry David Thoreau, Henry James: sono solo alcuni dei grandi scrittori che danno filo da torcere agli studiosi. Non solo le frasi arzigogolate a confondere, ma la loro calligrafia illeggibile.
Pierre Walker and Greg Zacharias, editors of the new edition of Henry James’ complete correspondence, puzzled over a word in a cross-written letter James sent to his intimate friend Grace Norton. Was James signing himself “unutterably yours” or “unalterably yours”? The problem was exacerbated by the editors’ awareness that James’ lowercase u’s and a’s often looked identical. And the master was sloppy in crossing his t’s, turning back to the task only after coming to the end of a line. Ultimately, Walker and Zacharias settled on unutterably, after making a systematic search of all James’ letters to Norton and finding a handful of unutterablys sprinkled through, but no unalterablys.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Houghton Library, Harvard University.
Postato da: IM