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What I meant to say…

Richard Warnica has posted an interview with author Edeet Ravel on The Tyee site discussing her reasons for significantly rewriting her second novel, Look for Me, after it was published. Ravel initially posted her revised version of the book on her website with this explanation:

When Ten Thousand Lovers and A Wall of Light were published, I had a sense of completion. I can’t imagine revisiting those novels.

Look for Me, on the other hand, felt unfinished — I wasn’t entirely happy with some aspects of the novel…When the time came to prepare Look For Me for its French translation, I returned to the novel, and I knew at once that I wanted to rewrite it.

The new version, which is the one readers will have access to in translations and future English editions, is now complete.

Ravel told Warnica that her first version of the novel had been rushed in order to keep up with the publication schedule, but time had provided the perspective she needed to improve the book. Initially, she had to be satisfied with posting the revised book online, but when French publishers wanted the manuscript, she took the opportunity to make the changes.

[I]t seemed important to make the changes, particularly because there were some political issues at stake. I was also dissatisfied with the ending and I was glad to have a chance to change it. Once you have a version you think is better, you naturally wish it was the only one people were reading.

The situation raises some intriguing questions. When is a book really finished? And when will the Internet make it possible to use that snappy comeback you think of the next day?