G. C. mars, ed., Brickwork in Italy, American Face Brick Association, 1925
There's something resonant to me about the errata card sometimes found in editions of books, particularly, I suppose, scholarly ones. (No one adds errata to 50 Shades of Gray.) Someone cared this much about getting it all right (though not enough to justify a reprint) that they required the printing and tucking-in of the card in subsequent copies. What's lovely about them is that they don't completely erase (as a second corrected edition might): instead they note the error and the correction, achieving a doubleness, a shadow on the prose. In digital the first edition would probably just be erased or overwritten. Is a text stable or is it not? Can we amend it without changing it so it becomes something other than itself? Can we translated or edit or abridge it? Who thinks a book with a rewritten ending is the same book it was before? How much can be rewritten without it being essentially changed? Can we trust the author to rewrite it or to edit it after the fact? What if we want our ebook exactly as it was? Do we have a mechanism to ensure it remains the same or are we subject to the end user legal agreement of the publisher and the platform we read it on? Whose book, whose words, is or are it anyway?