Talk:The Bell Buoy

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Latest comment: 16 years ago by BirgitteSB in topic Disambiguation
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I have laid out the two editions side by side, with annotations. Should we have two textinfo blocks here on the talk page? Alternatively, we could have each edition on a separate pages, and transclude them into this side-by-side view. John Vandenberg (chat) 00:49, 10 February 2008 (UTC)Reply

The left-hand text is based on the first American printing (1897). It is not clear how this differs from the first British printing (1896), as this seems to be unavailable [1], or whether Kipling approved it before publication. The right-hand version represents Kipling's preferred version as it appeared in all editions of his poems.--Poetlister 10:40, 10 February 2008 (UTC)Reply
We definitely want both editions, whether or not Kipling approved the McClure's edition before publication. It was printed, so it is our duty to provide an accurate copy of it. We could give it less prominence, by laying out the pages as :
John Vandenberg (chat) 12:40, 10 February 2008 (UTC)Reply
That seems eminently sensible.--Poetlister 13:14, 10 February 2008 (UTC)Reply
Having the two versions side by side is fine with me. Looking at Kipling's material more generally it seems that he was very much in the habit of significantly changing much of his work after it's initial publication. I've been looking at "Bread on the Waters" a prose piece where the changes are significantly more extensive than with The Bell-Buoy.
I balk at calling either version definitive. This is a POV determination that needs to be backed up. A 1929 edition is also not posthumous, since Kipling did not die until 1936.
The original English edition may not be as unavailable as the notice indicates. Someone with access to a major university library should be able to find the 1896 Saturday Review since it was quite a popular magazine in its time. Eclecticology 20:21, 10 February 2008 (UTC)Reply

"I balk at calling either version definitive. This is a POV determination that needs to be backed up. A 1929 edition is also not posthumous, since Kipling did not die until 1936." The book is called The Definitive Edition of Rudyard Kipling's Verse and was published by Kipling's usual publishers, Hodder and Stoughton, in 1940 (i.e. after Kipling's death). We should call it by its correct title. In the case of this poem, it reproduces the text of the 1929 Collected Verse. This was published in Kipling's lifetime and no doubt had his approval.--Poetlister 17:57, 11 February 2008 (UTC)Reply

The proper title for the 1940 edition was simply "Rudyard Kipling's verse" with "Definitive edition" appearing later on the title page in an edition statement. An earlier 1933 version was simply marked "Inclusive edition". Unfortunately the LOC listings do not show the name of an editor for the 1940 editon. What was the basis for calling that edition "definitive"? Since you are the one proffering the 1940 edition you are clearly in a position to explain what you mean. Eclecticology 21:40, 11 February 2008 (UTC)Reply
I do not understand what point is being made here. There is a book that is called "Rudyard Kipling's Verse. Definitive edition." Here is its entry in the British Library Catalogue:
Please provide evidence that it is not called the Definitive edition.--Poetlister 12:49, 12 February 2008 (UTC)Reply
I have no dispute with the British Library Catalogue, nor do I dispute that the title page has the stated edition statement. If we had been around at the time you or I could just as easily have stuck that on the title page, and it would still have been nothing more than a marketing ploy. If the difference between the 1933 edition and the 1940 edition was nothing more than changing the word "inclusive" to "definitive" without any explanation then the latter word is completely meaningless. This is why I ask about the 1940 editor, and any explanation that might have been given in the 1940 prefatory material. Eclecticology 21:08, 12 February 2008 (UTC)Reply

I am totally bewildered. I cited the book by its correct name. What is the alternative? It is original research to discuss whether it should have that name. Anyway, it is of course definitive in the sense that it includes all of Kipling's poetry published by Hodder and Stoughton; obviously, no edition published in his lifetime could make that claim as he might have written more. Also, beyond doubt it contains the text that Kipling himself wished to see in print.--Poetlister 22:06, 12 February 2008 (UTC)Reply

Whether "Definitive edition" is a part of the title really depends on the layout of the title page, rather than the interpretation of either the LOC or BL; they do seem to deal with this point differently. If the intention was simply to include all of Kipling's poetry then the "inclusive" designation of the 1933 edition was the appropriate one. I would demand something more scholarly, authoritative and decisive of "definitive". At the very least it should discuss the discrepancies between the texts in question. If that's original research, so what? You are the one who first mentioned the 1940 edition, presumably because you saw it. It should be no problem for you to provide a scan of the title page. A reference to the editor's preface or introduction should clarify what was intended by "definitive", and is preferable to imputing an inaccurate definition with the sense that you desire. Eclecticology 23:42, 12 February 2008 (UTC)Reply

As you are both actively working on uncovering the finer details, the page should wait until you are both happy with proposed changes. Please dont keep changing the page, as this is developing into a bit of an edit war, which is a bit silly because Wikisource doesnt usually have edit wars.
Ec., above I have suggested splitting the two editions onto separate pages, which would allow the provenance details of each to be stored on the talk page of each. Could you put some thought into the prominence issues here, and if you have time, also at Talk:The Ballad of Reading Gaol, where we have a known edition and a "gutenberg" edition with no additional details.
Thanks, I'll start a new section below on this.
Postlister, if you can scan the title page as requested, that would be great. Based on the comments regarding Image:AgeOfAnxietyTitlePage.jpg at this deletion request, I think you can upload the title page onto Commons if it doesnt have any images on it. In any case, you can upload it onto Wikisource, and if it is not PD, we can delete it once we no longer need it. If you cant scan it as requested, just note that here, and we will think of other ways to sort this out. John Vandenberg (chat) 00:07, 13 February 2008 (UTC)Reply
Notwithstanding our usual prohibition against fair use, this is the kind of situation where fair use should be appropriate. I would still avoid generally promoting fair use because it's just too vulnerable to ignorant abuse. Eclecticology 02:10, 13 February 2008 (UTC)Reply

I was in Google Books and most entries there have Rudyard Kipling's Verse. [The] Definitive Edition (with or without "The"), but some do have The Definitive Edition of Rudyard Kipling's Verse. More interesting though is this extract from The Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature.

  • "The definitive edition of Rudyard Kipling's verse. 1940, New York 1940. Omits early and miscellaneous uncollected verse rptd only in Sussex edn (vol 25) and Burwash edn (vol 28). Many of the verses omitted from Schoolboy lyrics, Echoes etc. are now collected in Early verse, ed A. Rutherford, 1986. Other verses by Kipling remain uncollected."

The point here is not to take publishers' statements too strictly. Eclecticology 00:57, 13 February 2008 (UTC)Reply

The title of the book is the title of the book. I have proved what the title is by citing the British Library Catalogue. No evidence whatever has been produced that the book thus described in the BLC does not exist or has any other title. If anyone considers that this is wrong, please go to the British Library, call up that book and make a scan of its title page.--Poetlister 23:01, 13 February 2008 (UTC)Reply
You have proved bugger-all. The LC Catalog at LCCN#41001499 proves equally well that "Definitive edition" was not a part of the title. Eclecticology 07:55, 14 February 2008 (UTC)Reply

I'm in favour of the bolded title being simply "Hodder & Stoughton version", since the small details already say "From the 1940, Hodder & Stoughton Definitive Edition of Rudyard Kipling's Verse."" - the "definitive" is the title of the book, not in the title of the poem, as I understand it. Thus the poem's title should be "Hodder & Stoughton version", while the small text beneath gives its location as being in the 1940 "Definitive Edition of RK's Verse" Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Augustus John Cuthbert Hare 23:14, 13 February 2008 (UTC)Reply

Fair enough; I'll do that. Incidentally, The Kipling Society confirms the usage of the name "Definitive Edition" and that the poem is The Bell Buoy without hyphen.--Poetlister 23:19, 13 February 2008 (UTC)Reply

Competing texts


This will become a bigger problem over time as more people discover that texts are subject to variation. We can't just pick up any version of a text, and assume that it's accurate. When I was putting together my set of DeQuincey's works in the mid 19th century Ticknor-Fields edition I ended up with apparently duplicate volumes printed in different years, but the numbering of the last pages didn't match. When the publisher set up the type the first time, type was too expensive to leave sitting around until there was a demand for a second printing. New type had to be set for the second printing, and that implies a whole new series of changes to the text. Kipling appears to have enjoyed tinkering with his texts after they were first published. We can't even be sure at this point whether there are intermediate versions between 1897 and 1940 for The Bell-Buoy.

We can only work with what we have, and for The Bell-Buoy at this stage, we can only assert that we know of two versions. I'm not bothered by having the two versions side by side for a fairly short work like this poem. That makes the comparison easier. There's nothing to keep us from having two provenance boxes on the talk page. For Kipling's Captains Courageous, where the same problem exists, other solutions may be necessary.

Given the rate at which texts are now appearing on the net, finding a way to cope with these variations could be one way we could become distinct. Eclecticology 02:10, 13 February 2008 (UTC)Reply

Sherurcij's changes


Calling the 1929 edition "definitive" does not solve any problems. I think that Poetlister and I would agree that that term did not arise until 1940, even if we disagree about exactly how it was used. Eclecticology 19:22, 14 February 2008 (UTC)Reply

That would appear to be a misunderstanding, see [2][3][4], this also suggests that it was Doubleday who first printed the "Definitive" title collection, and continued publishing it through the 1950s. Sherurcij Collaboration of the Week: Author:Augustus John Cuthbert Hare 19:27, 14 February 2008 (UTC)Reply
Hodder was the British publisher, Doubleday was the American publisher. Major publishers were very much aware of the 30-day rule. The first of your links does have a scan of the 1940 title page, and appears to support my contention about the "Definitive edition". The second is the only one that uses "definitive" in relation to 1929 edition; do any library catalogues substantiate this? The third reference for 1939 seems plausible, but does not appear to credit the major publishers. It could be an advance private publication. Eclecticology 02:28, 15 February 2008 (UTC)Reply

I agree with Eclecticology that the 1940 edition is the Definitive Edition. Further confirmation comes from the University of Cambridge Library. If the Library of Congress does not have a copy, there are currently nine for sale on eBay, five with photos to confirm the title.--Poetlister 22:13, 15 February 2008 (UTC)Reply

What appears to have set the whole conversation off the rails is that Hodder likely changed the title page at some point over the years in the many printings of this work from Rudyard Kipling's verse. Definitive edition to The Definitive edition of Rudyard Kipling's verse. (I note that the Cambridge Library listing is for the 1989 printing.) I have received a response from a librarian at the LOC confirming the early arrangement of the title page in 1940 based on the copy that was used for the U.S. registration of copyright in 1940. Eclecticology 20:56, 16 February 2008 (UTC)Reply

John's changes


The 1919 I.V. edition, as seen at here, either says that it is the 1896 edition, or it says that it was first written in 1896 and then proceeds to provide a different edition. I dont believe it is the latter.

I have made the changes I proposed earlier because despite a lot of discussion there has been no mention of the McClure's edition turning up in any of the official collections, so that edition is less prominent. Please do not move pages around or tweak any of it, as it makes for a messy page history. Present evidence first, preferably by expanding w:The Bell-Buoy, then discuss here, and then I will happily move pages around if there is consensus. John Vandenberg (chat) 15:50, 17 February 2008 (UTC)Reply

My two cents


IIRC the Sussex/Burwash Editions were the last that Kipling approved drafts of personally as the Definitive Edition referenced here was done after his death. The goal of the Definitive edition was to be true to Kiplings desires so I do not think it is a major deal, but worth pointing out. What is a larger issue is that all the editions I mentioned above are not Public Domain in the US. We should really be making an effort to use earlier editions that guaranteed free of copyright concerns. I will also point out that just because Kipling at 65 or so preferred a certain revision it does necessarily his preference is superior to his first "vision" of a poem at 25. It was at 25 the world thought him a genius; not 65 (although that change was due to politics and the paradigm shift brought by WWI as much as anything) So I don't think we should lament the later editions too much, even though it would be preferable to have the contrast of both.--BirgitteSB 00:37, 11 March 2008 (UTC) BTW the full publication history is detailed here. I.V. (1919) = Verse - Inclusive Edition (Second Edition) and D.V. = Definitive Edition mentioned by Poetlister. So I am thinking if we cannot find a copy of McClure's we should focus on the 1919 printing of Verse - Inclusive Edition or and= authorized US edition from around the same time period. I don't know who is in the UK, (if anyone). But I am certain I can find a US edition without much problem.--BirgitteSB 00:54, 11 March 2008 (UTC)Reply

The edition I support using turns out to be John's djvu file.--BirgitteSB 01:53, 11 March 2008 (UTC)Reply

If there is no difference between the 1919 and 1940 printings, there should be no copyright issue. And I remain of the opinion that some of the changes may well be corrections of printing errors; if so, we do Kipling a disservice to give priority to errors.--Poetlister 12:39, 12 March 2008 (UTC)Reply

If there is no creative differences then we should use the djvu file since it is most accessible. Printing errors are generally nonsense and should be obvious enough to correct without need to proofread against a separate edition. And so long as we are not dealing with the very first publication of a poem; all editions are likely to have an equal amount of printing errors. I really don't know how much Kipling changed his poetry later in life. I read that he did revisions on his work for the Sussex/Burwash editions, but he may have been more focused on the short stories than the poems. He was working on these revisions up until he became very ill, so maybe he never got to much of the poetry. I guess my main points are: all creative issues being equal we should base our editions on djvu files when we have them. If the creative issues are not equal, then Sussex/Burwash and later editions of Kipling's works have copyright issues. I didn't really get into the former point before, because I though all this disscusion was due to there being obvious creative differences.--BirgitteSB 18:49, 12 March 2008 (UTC)Reply



Since we have more than one version of this poem, should we not have a disambiguation page under some name where the link from the author page lands? I didn't notice this isssue being brought up in the earlier page naming discussion. I think we could easily keep the current page name and also have The Bell-Buoy (disambiguation) as the landing page from Author:Rudyard Kipling/Poetry. Thoughts?--BirgitteSB 18:55, 12 March 2008 (UTC)Reply