Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Poor Man's Pudding and Rich Man's Crumbs in The Independent Democrat

The Independent Democrat (Concord, New Hampshire)
via GenealogyBank
Herman Melville's short fiction Poor Man's Pudding and Rich Man's Crumbs was first published in the June 1854 issue of Harper's New Monthly Magazine. Both of the paired sketches or "pictures" were reprinted from Harper's on June 29, 1854 in The Independent Democrat, published in Concord, New Hampshire.

The Northwestern-Newberry Edition of The Piazza Tales and Other Prose Pieces, 1839-1860 locates only two reprints from Harper's magazine: in the Salem, Massachusetts Register on June 19, 1854; and the Buffalo Western Literary Messenger for August 1854. The headings and use of double quotation marks in the Independent Democrat version match the Harper's text rather than the Salem Register versions where "Poor Man's Pudding" and "Rich Man's Crumbs" are italicized in the subheadings, and single quotation marks are standard practice throughout. Even so, the immediate exemplar (Harper's? Salem Register? some other unknown version?) is hard to determine.

 The Independent Democrat (Concord, New Hampshire)
June 29, 1854
In the first sentence of Melville's story the Concord paper prints "earnestly" where Harper's and the Salem Register both read "enthusiastically." Further on, when Melville's narrator speaks "without equal enthusiasm" in the Harper's and Salem Register texts, the Concord Independent Democrat makes it "without equal earnestness." The change of "enthusiasm" to "earnestness" oddly but also quite deliberately reinforces the sense of the earlier usage of "earnestly," in place of "enthusiastically."

Salem Register - June 19, 1854
Later in "Picture First" the Concord Independent Democrat has the narrator refer to "friend Blandmour" where both Harper's and the Salem Register versions read only "Blandmour."

 "I suppose now, thinks I to myself, that friend Blandmour would poetically say--He goes to take a Poor Man's saunter." --Independent Democrat, June 29, 1854
Upon further review I see The Western Literary Messenger (August 1854) version exhibits the same quirks noted above, namely the calculated substitution of earnestly/earnestness for enthusiastically/enthusiasm; and the additional word "friend" in speaking of "friend Blandmour."

Western Literary Messenger - August 1854

More work will be needed to see what else the Concord editor made of Melville's diptych. The masthead names George G. Fogg as "Editor and Proprietor" of the Independent Democrat, published weekly in Concord, New Hampshire.

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1 comment:

  1. Independent Democrat published in Concord New Hampshire, New Hampshire, NEW HAMPSHIRE. The Salem Register (Massachusetts!) version follows the Harper's text of "Poor Man's Pudding and Rich Man's Crumbs." The Concord (New Hampshire!) version does not, as more fully shown in another post: