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Chapter 3 - Reading the Edited “I” in the Early Black Atlantic

from Part I - Origins and Histories

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 September 2021

Joycelyn Moody
Affiliation:
University of Texas, San Antonio
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Summary

Lamore examines revisions found in the full-length and abridged editions of Olaudah Equiano’s Interesting Narrative published in the United States, and contends that they serve as a type of textual signature; they record how the editor and/or book publisher revised the autobiography to appeal to different readers in the United States. The US publishing history of Equiano's Narrative demonstrates that whereas the publishing history of the authorized editions of the autobiography underscores Equiano’s successful attempts to control his life, text, and self, the publishing history of the US editions of the autobiography repeatedly reveals that his life, text, and self were edited by others. For Lamore, the editing of an autobiographical text by a non-authorial agent forms an essential part of its reception history and the history of the multiple actors present in published life narratives. The publishing history of A Narrative of the Lord’s Most Wonderful Dealings with John Marrant, a frequently read eighteenth-century autobiography related by a free person of African descent, provides another occasion to study unauthorized editions of transatlantic autobiography.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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