Cunneen, Rachel A.
This thesis, a study of the reading, editing and censoring of M. Barnard Eldershaw's
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, contains two key objectives.
Firstly, it aims to demonstrate how the unusual structure and subject matter of the
novel influenced its conflicting readings, its uneven reception and its tortuous
editorial history. A utopian reading of the novel is offered as a useful method to
explore the ambivalent messages in its contradictory and many-layered narrative.
The novel's...[Show more] treatment of authorship and authority, already the subject of scholarly
attention, is revisited: firstly in relation to material within the book itself and
secondly in relation to Marjorie Barnard's claim to be the sole author of the novel.
A close study of one of the extant typescripts throws this claim further into doubt.
It is posited that the novel's publication history and censorship have been directly
influenced by the way that Tomorrow lends itself to conflicting and diverse readings.
In addition, public perception of the authorship of the novel has also affected its
interpretations, and the literary reputations of Marjorie Barnard and Flora
Eldershaw. A study of the reception history of the novel addresses the ideologies and
assumptions underpinning the assessments of critics and readers, and speculates on
the methodologies influencing the actions of the editors and censor of Tomorrow
Secondly, this thesis aims to present and examine new manuscripts, correspondence
and other documentation that came to light with the death of Marjorie Barnard's
companion, Vera Murdoch. The material already archived in Barnard's papers at
the Mitchell Library in NSW is crucial to this examination, particularly the
typescript which has been understood to represent the censoring of the novel in
1944, and which formed the basis for the Virago edition of the book in 1983. In
examining this typescript, it is argued that Virago's claim that the 1983 edition
represents the full text of Tomorrow is misleading. Many emendations attributed to
the censor were probably the work of editors or of the authors themselves. It is
also demonstrated that the greater part of the Virago edition is a photostatted copy of
the earlier published edition and is thus not a completely new edition. These
contentions are supported by the new material, which includes a complete, revised
typescript of Tomorrow. It is argued that this typescript was probably completed
by Barnard in 1957, as part of a three-decades-long effort to get the novel republished. It is also posited that the manuscript in the Mitchell Library, hitherto
seen as the most satisfactory example of final authorial intention, was assembled by
Marjorie Barnard sometime after i 947 and was never intended to be used as a
copytext. These findings further complicate the difficulties of conclusively locating
the author of Tomorrow, and of finding an authoritative text.
Thus, while the latter part of the thesis is not in itself a preparation for a scholarly
edition, many of the issues provoked by a study of the different texts of Tomorrow
are addressed by textual criticism usually associated with the preparation of
scholarly editions. Authorial intention and notions of complete and authentic texts
are questioned. A complex picture of Australian literary and publishing history
emerges, that illuminates the many collaborative influences that have produced
versions of Tomorrow to date, and suggests directions for the future publication of a
new edition of the novel.
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