The Text of Lawson’s Prose


The textual problem is a vexed one. In the absence of final proof copies with the author's own corrections the textual student can only proceed by comparing the published texts. Such a comparison suggests that Lawson's prose has been subjected to a process of successive editorial emendation. It is improbable at this stage that we shall ever know what Lawson wrote, or meant to write, but given a steady accumulation of editorial changes and printer's errors (it really is difficult sometimes to tell one from the other), the safest course would be a return to the earlier editions, which at least have some chance of reflecting Lawson's intentions, and which almost invariably read more sensibly than later ones.

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Published 1 December 1966 in Volume 2 No. 4. Subjects: Textual criticism & editing, Henry Lawson.

Cite as: Douglas, Dennis. ‘The Text of Lawson’s Prose.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 2, no. 4, 1966, doi: 10.20314/als.9c711dc268.