top of page

Modern English Versions - Formatting

This one's a bit longer - but there are also more pictures, although mostly of text and not images...


A lot can be said, and has been written, about the presentation format of seventeenth century texts/books. A fascinating read just recently for me is When Novels Were Books by Jordan Stein - I am so grateful for the InterLibrary Loan system!


PP is no exception in terms of how layout of the page shapes, obliges and/or panders to a certain type of reader.




Title and Frontispiece


A literary edition concerned for an 'accurate' historical text will often display the title page of one of the ten editions published during Bunyan's lifetime. It will also include the frontispiece that was attached to the third edition and following. A frontispiece is a full page size piece of artwork. Famously the image that beckons would be readers of PP is of the dreaming author above a cave, or den, that has the raised portcullis suggesting imprisonment. Guarding the cave is a lion - suggesting both government tyranny and persecution for true religion as experienced by the prophet Daniel. Above the dreamer is the man with the burden and book leaving the City of Destruction on the left and ascending toward the Celestial City in the upper right.


And Bunyan's title is a long one. In its fullness, it reads: The Pilgrim's Progress FROM THIS WORLD, TO That which is to come, Delivered under the Similitude of a DREAM Wherein is Discovered The manner of his setting out, His Dangerous Journey, And Safe Arrival in the Desired Country.


Notice how DREAM is the main attraction for the visual impact of the page.


Also notice the long S of seventeenth century typography - Progrefs/ fetting/ fafe for Progress/ setting/ safe. No editions of PP, apart from deliberate facsimile reproductions, keep that typography. So, in that sense, even the Penguin Classics 2008 Roger Pooley edition from which these pages above come, faithfully rendering the 10th edition, modernizes the font for readability.


And the title page anticipates the Author's Apology by giving a validating prooftext about those Similitudes - meaning figures of speech, similes, analogies, metaphors and the apparatus of allegory. I have used Similitudes. Hos. 12:10


_______________


Title Pages


Given their mission, it is not a surprise that none of the Modern English versions use of the frontispiece image (which went through a range of imitation and adaptation in the publishing history of PP), or any of the many different ways of using illustration to open the book. In fact, only Frayer-Griggs' editions has any illustrations at all - few, but in that way comparable to the early editions of PP. Edmonson's has some graphic design elements that illumine the text. Otherwise our Modern versions are more dour than most early editions of PP. The long title is dispensed with too: the book is too well known to need the plot spelled out on a title page, perhaps.


EPBooks:

Frayer-Griggs:












Ford:



Edmonson:



Vermilye:

Perhaps I should give you the covers too, but let's just assume that you still shouldn't judge...


_____________________


Page Layout


Scholars pay attention to the reader experience and the authorial intention in Bunyan's use of the margins of his book. The opening narrative page of the first edition looks like this facsimile on the left, below. You see marginal Bible references to Isa. 64.6, Luke 14:33, Ps 38.4, Hab. 2.2, Acts 16.31. The same are in the Penguin modernized typography version of the 10th edition, on the right, except you also have the marginal notes to 'The jail' and 'His outcry' that were added from the 3rd edition onwards. The third edition, represented in the middle, from the Owens edited 2004 Oxford World's Classics edition, had spelled 'jail' as 'gaol,' so we see modernization of spelling started early: within the lifespan of Bunyan's supervision of editions of the book! (What we don't know is whether the spelling changes were brought about by the author or the publisher/printer.)















So what does a modernized English version of the text need to look like?

Here are the corresponding pages in our sample:


EPBooks:



Here the apparent modernizations:

Chapter divisions (every modernized version adds chapter divisions where Bunyan had none.)

Chapter heading.

New, more paragraph divisions.

Removing the Bible References and Marginal Notes.

Using italics to highlight speech within the narrative.






Frayer-Griggs:


Modernizations:

Chapter divisions.

Chapter heading.

New, more paragraph divisions.

Moving Bible references from the margin to become footnotes.

Removing the Marginal Notes.

(Not evident here) Using italics to highlight a biblical quotation.





Edmonson:


Modernizations:

Chapter divisions.

Chapter heading.

New, more paragraph divisions.

Placing Bible references within parentheses in the text bock.

Removing the Marginal Notes.

Inserting Editorial Comment or Explanation - these are in italic sans serif font, indented with a symbol or, as with this pointing hand and index finger, with a 'manicule' - which actually were in use in Bunyan's day and occur once or twice in his text.



Ford:


Modernizations:

Chapter divisions.

Chapter subheadings - sometimes these overlap or use Bunyan's marginal notes.

New, more paragraph divisions.

Keeps Bible references from the margin, but also adds to them beyond what Bunyan supplied. On this first page Ford gives 2 Thess 1:5-10, Heb. 10:26-27, and 2 Pet. 3:7 for a paragraph where Bunyan gives no references.

Removing most Marginal Notes (see subheadings above).

(Not evident here) Using italics to highlight a biblical quotation.


Vermilye:


Modernizations:

Chapter divisions.

Chapter heading.

New, more paragraph divisions.

Moving Bible references from the margin to become footnotes.

Removing the Marginal Notes.






____________________________________


One last text formatting issue presents itself. Bunyan is wonderfully realistic in his use of dialogue, but he often keeps to a device of identifying the speaker by giving a short form of the speaker's name at the beginning of the paragraph, even if he will report the speech in the third person, e.g. Chr. Sir, said Christian, I am a Man that am come from the City of Destruction...



Chr. and Man. talk together in the Interpreter's House when Christian is confronted with the warning figure of the Man in the Iron Cage. Bunyan also mostly, but not always consistently has the speaker's initial name in italics followed by the text of the speech in regular font, or vice versa. Distinctive Names or key Theological Ideas or biblical Quotations are then given the Contrary Format within the font of the speech (and the capitalization can seem random at times, and may be a little inconsistent throughout but predictable patterns emerge).



_____________

There are a few speech marks at the beginning of the book, but mostly these are not given at all. All the Modernized Versions, whether they keep or discard the play/ screen-writing dialogue format, use speech marks to distinguish direct speech

_____________




EPBooks keeps the play format for dialogue in some instances, but in others, like the Interpreter's house, does not, but gives full names in upper case font when it does.



Frayer -Griggs keeps the original play format here, but extends the names so that it is CHRISTIAN and MAN, in upper case font.





Edmonson (picture still missing), Ford, and Vermilye all eliminate the play format for dialogue, blending their speakers' identification into the flow of the story's prose.



____________________________


One of the themes in scholarship around the reading experience of books like PP in seventeenth century is that of deliberately discontinuous reading. That is, the margins' references and notes are interruptive of any reading solely for narrative flow, suggesting this wasn't the kind of reading in view. Stopping to check out references, marking progress by marginal note, are different kinds of reading than one encouraged to continuity by moving the contents of the margins besides the text to footnotes below. All the more so in Modernized English versions - non-scholarly editions that are not aimed at footnote readers for study, and indeed want to simplify the reading experience.* The continuous reading of a chaptered text has clear but structurally regular and thus unobtrusive devices for marking progress. Only Edmonson's text gets some of the discontinuity with Toby Jones' intervention in the intruding comments - which have a cheerful, personal and at times critical tone, even questioning or poking fun at Bunyan's moves in the narrative - arguably a very different discontinuity than being pointed only to Scripture or receiving additional input from the author.








6 views0 comments

留言


bottom of page