Buku Alfred Bester by Smith Jad;

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Alfred Bester by Smith Jad;

Author:Smith, Jad;

Language: eng

Format: epub

Publisher: University of Illinois Press

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Alfred Bester by Smith Jad;

Bester’s The Demolished Man, first U.S. edition, Shasta, 1953. Jacket design by Martin Herbstman. Reprinted by permission of Erle Melvin Korshak.

Bester’s The Demolished Man, first U.K. edition, Sidgwick and Jackson, 1953. Courtesy of Pan Macmillan.

Bester’s reasons for undertaking other revisions seem more apparent. He likely changed Powell’s name from Preston to Lincoln as part of a larger effort to make the character greyer and rounder, more of an antihero like Reich. If the nickname “Pres” made Powell sound like a natural leader in the Galaxy serial, the introduction of Powell’s alter ego Dishonest Abe in the book version results in a less stable but more flawed and human Powell, even as it allows Bester to raise ethical questions about the use of telepathy in police work and about the tendency of espers at large to adopt a laissez-faire attitude toward duplicity in their dealings with normals. In addition to creating such interplay of character and context, Powell’s name change results in a new nickname, “Linc,” that foreshadows his role as the “link” in the Mass Cathexis Measure.

 

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Alfred Bester by Smith Jad;

Author:Smith, Jad; , Date: June 21, 2019

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Author:Smith, Jad;

Language: eng

Format: epub

Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Bester’s The Demolished Man, first U.S. edition, Shasta, 1953. Jacket design by Martin Herbstman. Reprinted by permission of Erle Melvin Korshak.

Bester’s The Demolished Man, first U.K. edition, Sidgwick and Jackson, 1953. Courtesy of Pan Macmillan.

Bester’s reasons for undertaking other revisions seem more apparent. He likely changed Powell’s name from Preston to Lincoln as part of a larger effort to make the character greyer and rounder, more of an antihero like Reich. If the nickname “Pres” made Powell sound like a natural leader in the Galaxy serial, the introduction of Powell’s alter ego Dishonest Abe in the book version results in a less stable but more flawed and human Powell, even as it allows Bester to raise ethical questions about the use of telepathy in police work and about the tendency of espers at large to adopt a laissez-faire attitude toward duplicity in their dealings with normals. In addition to creating such interplay of character and context, Powell’s name change results in a new nickname, “Linc,” that foreshadows his role as the “link” in the Mass Cathexis Measure.

Bester’s most striking revisions occurred in respect to his use of nonstandard orthography. Looking back on the Galaxy manuscript and perhaps remembering Boucher and McComas’s advice concerning his initial overwriting “Of Time and Third Avenue,” Bester came to view his heavy use of “symbol-names” in the serial as gimmicky and intrusive, and he decided to scale them back.31 Most noticeably, he dropped symbols from the names of prominent and frequently referenced characters. $$son, the streetwise Inspector who reports to Powell and who stylizes his last name using a doubled dollar sign that alludes to the slang term for a $20 bill, becomes simply “Jackson.”32 Likewise, Bester spells out T8, the name of the psychologist running interference for Reich, as “Tate.” However, Bester also renamed minor characters such as the appraiser try, the forensics expert K½ft, and the doctor ¼maine, who become Graham, DeSantis, and Jordan, respectively.33

This concession with respect to orthographical play did not mean that Bester backed away from it in general. To the contrary, he employed it more extensively in instances where it pointed toward telepathy as a language variant and differing mode of communication. For instance, Bester added Powell’s jokey reference to Chervil’s “(lap)2” to the esper party. In the serial, Powell simply describes him as “fat.”34 He also sprinkled bits of visual overcoding in contexts outside of the esper party. Much later in the novel, Mary Noyes tells Powell she cannot “thread-needle” through his mind block, and the phrase itself curves below the line and up, imitating the motion of a needle piercing fabric (131). New to the Shasta printing, this textual effect appears in no subsequent edition of the novel, American or British, leaving one to wonder how much of the language play contained in Bester’s manuscript disappeared over the years during reprinting.

If Bester played up espers’ love of overcoded and compressed language with additions such as these, he also worked out orthographical methods for representing features of telepathic communication such as thought amplification.

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