Jack of Shadows chap. 6 misprint - solved!

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John Callender

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Oct 9, 2001, 11:59:35 PM10/9/01
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A month or so ago I posted the following to the group:

> I own the Signet paperback edition of Jack of Shadows (first printing,
> August, 1972, per the copyright page). It is one of my favorite books,
> but there is a misprint in Chapter 6 that has always bothered me.

It bothered me enough that I started buying up various editions
of the book on EBay, looking for a corrected version of the
passage. Sadly (as others noted here in response to my original
posting) all versions of the book (the original hardcover, as
well as all subsequent paperback editions) appear to contain the
same problematic passage, in which Jack's conversation with
Morningstar clearly contains one or more errors, since the
sequence of unattributed statements can't be made to fit the
attributed statements than come before and after them.

I didn't give up, though, and finally managed to obtain the July
1971 and August 1971 issues of The Magazine of Fantasy and
Science Fiction, which is where the story first appeared in
print. And guess what? The version in the magazine does not have
the problem!

Here is the problematic passage, as it appears in all the book
versions. I've numbered the paragraphs for subsequent reference:

[1] "The ruler of that star," he [Jack] said, "has resisted all
spells of
communication. It moves differently from the others and faster.
It
does not twinkle. Why is this?"

[2] "It is not a true star, but an artificial object placed into
orbit
above Twilight by the dayside scientists."

[3] "To what end?"

[4] "It was placed there to observe the border."

[5] "Why?"

[6] "Do they fear you?"

[7] "We have no designs upon the lands of light."

[8] "I know. But do you not also watch the border, in your own
way?" asked Jack.

[9] "Of course."

[10] "Why?"

[11] "To be aware of what transpires along it."

[12] "That is all?" Jack snorted.

And now, here is the passage as it originally appeared in The
Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (specifically, on page 47
of the July 1971 issue):

[1] "The ruler of that star," he [Jack] said, "has resisted all
spells of
communication. It moves differently from the others, and faster.
It
does not twinkle. Why is this?"

[2] "It is not a true star, but an artificial object placed into
orbit
above Twilight by the dayside scientists."

[3] "To what end?"

[4] "It was placed there to observe the border."

[5] "Why?"

[6] "They fear you."

[7] "We have no designs upon the lands of light."

[8] "I know. But do you not also watch the border, in your own
way?"

[9] "Of course."

[10] "Why?"

[11] "To be aware of what transpires along it."

[12] "That is all?"

[13] Jack snorted.

As you can see, there have been several small changes: A comma,
there in the original paragraph [1], was removed in the book
version. Paragraph [6] was changed from the statement "They fear
you" to the question "Do they fear you?" And, most significantly,
paragraph [8], which the original version has being spoken by
Morningstar, has been altered so as to be attributed explicitly
to Jack. Also, paragraphs [12] and [13] in the original version
have been combined into the beginning of a single paragraph
(which continues beyond the part I quoted here) in the book
version. Note that this last change has the effect of converting
paragraphs [12] and [13] from a question by Morningstar, and a
snorted response by Jack, into a question plus snort on the part
of Jack.

So, besides being extremely happy to finally have the passage as
I believe Zelazny intended it to be read, I think I have an idea
as to how the problem came about. My guess is that the editor of
the first book version felt that the long exchange with no
explicit attributions was confusing, and set out to improve it by
some small modifications. Unfortunately, the editor's own
confusion as to which character was speaking which lines led him
or her to introduce the erroneous attributions outlined above,
mistakes that were perpetuated in all subsequent versions of the
book.

I confess that I am really looking forward to reading the rest of
the magazine version, carefully, to see if I can find any other
changes.

I realize that this is an awful lot of attention for me to focus
on what some people would view to be merely an obscure passage
from an obscure book by an obscure author. But Jack of Shadows is
a very important book to me, one of my favorite books ever, and
this exchange between Jack and Morningstar is, in my mind, the
thematic heart of the book. If it is ever reprinted in the
future, I certainly hope the publisher will make the effort to
restore the passage to its proper form.

--
John Callender
j...@west.net
http://www.lies.com/jbc/

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> The misprint is in chapter 6, where Jack is having the conversation
> with Morningstar atop Mount Panicus. In my edition it is toward the
> bottom of page 67, where Jack and Morningstar are discussing the
> daysider's satellite. My edition contains the following text:
>
> "The ruler of that star," he [Jack] said, "has resisted all spells of
> communication. It moves differently from the others and faster. It
> does not twinkle. Why is this?" [spoken by Jack]
>
> "It is not a true star, but an artificial object placed into orbit
> above Twilight by the dayside scientists." [spoken by Morningstar]
>
> "To what end?" [spoken by Jack, presumably]
>
> "It was placed there to observe the border." [Morningstar?]
>
> "Why?" [Jack?]
>
> "Do they fear you?" [Morningstar?]
>
> "We have no designs upon the lands of light." [Jack?]
>
> "I know. But do you not also watch the border, in your own way?" asked
> Jack. [spoken by Jack, obviously]
>
> [me again]
>
> If you follow the sequence of statements back and forth between Jack
> and Morningstar, there's clearly a line missing, or a line that has
> been moved to the wrong location, or something, since after the
> statements without attribution, the statement attributed to Jack
> should actually be Morningstar's. I've tried many times to deduce how
> the passage is actually supposed to read, without success.
> The problem seems to occur with the line "Do they fear you?", which
> should be Morningstar's, but doesn't sound right for him. The
> subsequent line ("We have no designs upon the lands of light.")
> definitely sounds like Jack (since I don't think Morningstar would use
> "we" in that way), but the line after that is a response that is
> explicitly attributed to Jack, which, obviously, doesn't make sense.
>
> My assumption is that this is a misprint that was introduced with the
> first Signet paperback edition. I would be very interested in
> locating, and buying, or just getting confirmation from someone who
> has access to, either the original hardback edition, or any subsequent
> printings of the paperback edition, to see if the passage is given
> correctly there.
>
> Otherwise, I'd be interested in hearing anyone else's opinions on how
> the passage should be interpreted. This chapter is, in many ways, the
> thematic heart of the book, with its discussion of the whole
> subjective nature of reality and change as the result of consciousness
> and all that, and it just really bugs me that I'm not able to read it
> as Zelazny intended.
>
> Thanks.
>
> John Callender
> j...@west.net

Steve Swope

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Oct 10, 2001, 2:15:15 AM10/10/01
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On Tue, 09 Oct 2001 20:59:35 -0700, John Callender <j...@west.net>
wrote:

> managed to obtain the July 1971 and August 1971 issues of
> The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, which is where
> the story first appeared in print. And guess what? The version
> in the magazine does not have the problem!

Great find, John. Have you considered forwarding your research to the
current publisher?

Steve


JJM1954

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Oct 10, 2001, 4:41:26 AM10/10/01
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Yes, good work. Thanks.

John Miller

Matthew Manley

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Oct 10, 2001, 5:56:27 AM10/10/01
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Thanks! I'll print this out and keep it with my copy of Jack of Shadows.
Very cool.

John Callender <j...@west.net> wrote in message
news:3BC3C7A7...@west.net...

Matt Neumann

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Oct 11, 2001, 10:09:11 AM10/11/01
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John Callender wrote:
>
> I didn't give up, though, and finally managed to obtain the July
> 1971 and August 1971 issues of The Magazine of Fantasy and
> Science Fiction, which is where the story first appeared in
> print. And guess what? The version in the magazine does not have
> the problem!

What a great idea! Good work, John! Thanks for sharing this, that
passage tripped me up every time I reread the book, but I just kept
ignoring it. Great work!

--
-Matt (mat...@hotmail.com)
Angband in action! Constant escalation to new depths to find angrier,
meaner letters and more punctuation!

John Callender

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Oct 11, 2001, 4:12:04 PM10/11/01
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Interestingly enough, I've already found some other significant
differences between the book and magazine versions. For example,
the whole scene with the dragon that takes place during the
Jack/Morningstar conversation in Chapter 6 is entirely absent
from the magazine version. The dragon never appears.

This makes me wonder about my interpretation that an editor was
responsible for the problem discussed earlier. I can't imagine an
editor adding that passage about the dragon; that must have been
written by Zelazny. Was it in the original manuscript, and left
out of the magazine version for some reason? Space
considerations, maybe? Or was it added later, for the book, after
the magazine version had been submitted? In the latter case, it
would seem to raise the possibility that the problematic exchange
between Jack and Morningster was actually the result of some
editing Zelazny did himself.

I don't suppose I'll ever be able to learn all the details of
what happened with the manuscript to produce the various
versions. I will be going over the magazine version looking for
other differences from the book version, though, and will pass on
whatever I learn.

John

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