Fwd: Re: Up Stream

J B Krygier jbkrygier at owu.edu
Tue Nov 14 07:56:02 EST 2006

Begin forwarded message:

From: Gordon Neavill <aa3401 at wayne.edu>
Subject: Re: Up Stream
To: modlib at algol.owu.edu
Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2006 21:22:38 -0500 (EST)

I guess I must be one of the five people Toby is referring to. Here's  
the scoop on Up Stream:

The evolution of ML printings of Up Stream is more complex than  
indicated in the Toledano Guide. Lewisohn's autobiographical volume  
was originally published by Boni and Liveright in 1922. The B&L  
plates were too large for the ML's format, so when Cerf and Klopfer  
decided to add it to the ML in 1926 they had to reset the text. When  
Lewisohn found out that the book was being reset, he asked to make  
revisions in the text -- something that wouldn't have been possible  
if the ML had been able to use the original plates. The revisions, he  
told Klopfer, were of great moral and literary importance to him.  
Most of the passages he rewrote concerned his wife Mary, from whom he  
had separated since the book was originally published. He removed a  
number of references to his wife in the ML edition and rewrote  
others. For example:

B&L text: "My father was, characteristically, aglow; he saw visions  
of grandeur. My mother's womanly and solitary heart yearned over  
Mary. So Mary and I were married and we all settled down in an old,  
roomy house in Queenshaven. The house overlooked the bay and from our  
study windows Mary and I watched the horned moon float over the  
silken swell of the dark waters and listened to the tide...." (B&L,  
p. 135)

ML text, 1st printing: "My father was, characteristically, aglow; he  
saw visions of grandeur. Mary, furthermore, insisted that we must be  
married to save her honor and her very life. I was a gentleman still  
and a Southerner. I tried to hope many things to still the fatal  
monitions within me.... We all settled down together in an old house  
overlooking the bay. But Mary's responsibilities to her family robbed  
her of the power, even though she had had the will, to be my wife or  
-- despite her age, the daughter of my parents. . . . She was a  
middle-aged woman who had insisted on marrying a man not much older  
than her oldest child. She acted like Dora Copperfield.... Something  
indomitable must have been in me that I did not go under ... a  
strength and a faith…." (ML 1st printing, pp. 159-60)

Mary Lewisohn threatened to sue the ML for libel after she saw the ML  
edition. She objected specifically to the passage, "Mary,  
furthermore, insisted that we must be married to save her honor and  
her very life."

The second ML printing in November 1927 omitted the passage quoted  
above and the following passage from the new introduction Lewisohn  
wrote for the ML edition:

"I say this in all humility and say it in order to record the fact  
that the general texture of Up Stream remained free, has always been  
free, of the unveracity that marked a small number of passages now  
changed or expunged. Why, in my ardent search for the truth of  
things, did I deliberately falsify one element in my life and draw  
falsely one character? Through a mistaken kindliness? Yes. But more  
through shame -- shame of the all but unbelievable physical and moral  
facts. . . . That blot on the book has now been wiped out. . . . If  
Up Stream is still worthy of being read; if it is worthy of being  
remembered -- let it be read and remembered in the form in which it  
is now definitively printed here. . . ."(1st printing, p. xi)

The introduction occupies pp. vii-xii in the first printing. The  
omission of the passage quoted above results in the introduction  
appearing in the second printing on pp. vii-xi. But Mary Lewisohn was  
not satisfied with the changes in the second printing. Three days  
after the second printing was released, the ML agreed to drop the  
introduction altogether and substitute the original Boni & Liveright  
text for the revisions supplied by Lewisohn. The introduction was cut  
out of all remaining copies of the second printing. The table of  
contents which listed the introduction is also removed in all copies  
I’ve examined. The stubs of four leaves remain visible. In  
bibliographical terms, these copies constitute the second state of  
the second printing.

This should have settled the matter, but somebody made a huge blunder  
when the third ML printing was made in July 1928. The third printing  
retained Lewisohn’s introduction in violation of the settlement with  
Mary Lewisohn. The three leaves containing the introduction were cut  
out of the book, apparently before any copies were distributed. A  
newly printed leaf with the note required by the ML’s agreement with  
Mary Lewisohn, was pasted to the stub of one of the cancelled leaves.  
The note reads: "The Modern Library announces with this definitive  
edition, the final form of UP STREAM corrected to correspond with the  
original text published by Boni and Liveright, 1922."

There is a bibliographical puzzle with the third printing that I  
haven’t resolved. In some copies the final gathering consists of 14  
leaves with a fall 1928 ML list on the last two leaves (pp.  
[301-304]). In others the final gathering consists of 16 leaves with  
the fall 1928 list on pp. [301-304] followed by two blank leaves (pp.  
[305-308]). It's unlikely that there would have been two separate  
printings with fall 1928 lists both requiring the cancellation of  
Lewisohn’s introduction. The printer may have realized during the  
print run that the introduction had been included by mistake and that  
a newly printed leaf would have to be added to the book with the  
statement about the "definitive edition" quoted above. The printer  
may have removed the plates for the final during the print run,  
substituted two identical plates containing the statement "The Modern  
Library announces with this definitive edition . . ." for the two  
blank leaves, repositioned the plates on the press, a!
  nd completed the printing with enough copies of the leaf that would  
have to be tipped in to replace the introduction that had been  
printed by mistake. This is the only explanation I’ve been able to  
think of, but I’ll have to check with some printer friends to see if  
this hypothesis is plausible.

The fourth printing in spring 1929 appears to have been the first to  
satisfy the requirements of the ML’s agreement with Mary Lewisohn  
without resorting to cancellation (the removal of leaves containing  
the introduction). The statement "The Modern Library announces with  
this definitive edition, the final form of UP STREAM corrected to  
correspond with the original text published by Boni and Liveright,  
1922." appears on the third leaf of the first gathering, and the  
table of contents is the first to omit reference to Lewisohn’s  

The first three printings were bound in imitation leather (Henry’s  
binding 4). The fourth printing is bound in balloon cloth (Henry’s  
binding 5). The first three printings (1926, 1927, 1928) had the  
first ML, Inc. typographic jacket, with the following text on the  
front panel: "LUDWIG LEWISOHN’s "Up Stream" appeared first in the  
Spring of 1922. The color and charm of the book and the continuous  
beauty of its prose established it immediately as an important and  
permanent contribution to American letters. The Modern Library  
edition, containing a new introduction by the author, and certain  
revisions that he deemed vital in the text, will undoubtedly win a  
tremendous new audience for the book." (I’ve seen the fall 1928  
jacket but not jackets for the first and second printings. If anyone  
has a jacketed first printing I’d love to see a scan or photocopy of  
the jacket -- including the list of titles -- so I can update my  
bibliography entry.) The fourth printing has the ne!
  w uniform typographic jacket introduced in fall 1929. This jacket  
has the following statement on the front panel: "The original text  
complete and unabridged, with a prologue by the author."


Gordon B. Neavill
Associate Professor
Library and Information Science Program
106 Kresge Library
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI 48202
313-577-0507 (tel); 313-577-7563 (fax)
aa3401 at wayne.edu

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